This is the latest I’ve ever waited. After the business of this fall, with moving to a new home, my brother’s wedding, and battles again strep infection and bronchitis in the midst of it all, I began to wonder whether I had the energy for Christmas.
Then, the message on my tree skirt reminded me of something….
That’s the true meaning of Christmas.
That’s the real purpose of this blog.
If you condense everything written here, every note sung by artists shared here, you get one word, one precise beam of light — HOPE.
Hope is what the angel choir proclaimed the night Jesus was born.
Hope gives faith an anchor.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
The children’s pastor with whom I serve describes the difference between hope and faith this way: Hope is like a picture of what we desire or need, a goal. Faith is the rope that reaches into the unseen and pulls that thing hope seeks into being.
We all need goals. Business experts, life coaches, and any teacher will say that without goals, we cannot reach success. Faith works the same way.
Faith is the “substance” – the tangible, the “evidence” – the proof before we see the pudding. Hope lets us know there is a pudding worth hungering for.
When you’re lost in the darkness and too tired or frightened to move another step, hope says “There really is a light at the end of this tunnel.” Faith lifts your foot to take one more step toward that unseen light.
Hope lets us know, “God can shine through a cracked lantern.” No matter who we are, what we’re going through, what we’ve done, or what anyone has said, God’s gift to us is this:
We are precious to Jesus. We have a purpose in Jesus, We have power through Jesus. We have a place of honor with Jesus.
Just as He told the prophet, Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLV)
My prayer is that God fills our hearts with the light of hope and the knowledge of our purpose, worth, strength, and home in Him. As the apostle Paul wrote:
“I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart, so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people. And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead and put him at his right side in the heavenly world.” Ephesians 1:18-20 (NCV)