The Hope of Christmas

I seem to always get back to blogging around Carols.  I think it is because the deeper I get into the details (sort of just have my head above water now), the more I pray, the more I read my Bible, the more I think about what Jesus expects of me.  I know. I know. My spiritual journey is a 365 X 24 experience and should always be at an elevated level. After all, Jesus did not die for me for this intense six-week period every year. He died for me. Period. End of discussion.

Anyway, today, I found this article from Grace Communion International  when I was surfing the web. The title of the article is Why Jesus Gives Us Hope.  This paragraph really struck home: “God started in the smallest possible way—as an embryo in a virgin. Behold, I will give you a sign, he had said through Isaiah. A virgin will conceive and bring forth a child, and you will name him Immanuel, which means “God with us.” But he was first called Jesus — the Hebrew name Yeshua, which means, God will save us.””

We are all in need of the Savior. God sent Jesus to save us – to fill our lives with hope. Think about it – that little Baby did change everything. Because God loved us, He gave us Hope. And as Romans 5:5 says, “and hope does not disappoint..” The Hope we are sharing this Carols is the Hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. Pray about this – this Hope that is within you. Pray, too, that others who are coming to Carols and those in your circle of influence will see the Hope of Jesus in you.

I struggle to keep “the main thing the main thing” as Dr. Pollard used to say.  I tend to get wrapped up in the details of “who did what?” or “whose responsibility is that?” or “no, you can’t do that?” I even lose my cool (imagine that!) when the frustration level rises. Guess what. God is NOT honored by any of that.

Many have heard my story of what I remember as one of the first Carols in the new (existing) Sanctuary.  Somehow they used to know where folks were seated in the Sanctuary  based on the decision cards – I guess the ushers marked the collection bags by section.  In this particular case, the card came from a guy in the balcony – the section that is now behind the big screens. Even in those days they were not the most desirable seats.  When folks from FBCJ followed up after Carols, we learned this young man died a few days after he checked that card stating that he had prayed to receive Christ – a car wreck – life here done but Life Eternal assured. And God WAS honored because that young man’s life was saved for all eternity.

I hope to meet that fellow in heaven one day. I want to tell him thank you for inspiring me some 20+ years later to stay the course and be the encourager and help keep our focus on why we are doing this. If we forget why or do it just to do it, then the devil wins. I can assure you, God does not intend that (says so all through scripture beginning in Genesis) and neither do I.

The article goes on to say: “Luke tells us that the angels sang when Jesus was born. It was a moment of triumph, even though humans couldn’t see it that way. The angels knew that victory was certain, because God had told them so.” We have that same certainty because Jesus told us so.

“This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:12-14

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