Hoping for CHRISTmas

(By Marcy)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t wait for Christmas to be over?” Have you ever said or felt it yourself? As you read these words, we are in the midst of the season of Advent, the four weeks leading to the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. “Advent” means “comes to” and like Emmanuel (God with us), we humbly accept that in the best of who we are and what we ought to be doing, we are preparing our hearts for God’s coming to us—as Baby Jesus, yes, but also as He comes to us as The Christ, our Savior and King.

Why, then, would we “wish away” the celebration of the life that changed all of history—for the world and for us? We know why. Most of us, in one way or another, have allowed the busyness of “getting ready for Christmas,” be it shopping, decorating, cards, gifts—even church programs and dinners—overwhelm us to the point that we are stressed and tired and wishing it were over. In the midst of this, is there hope for a better Christmastide?

The answer is a resounding “yes,” but it will require intentionality on our part. We have a choice: we can wish it were different or we can hope for something infinitely better and, hope, unlike a wish, comes with the expectation of fulfillment. Because our hope comes from God, we can be sure that He wants to fill us with “all joy and peace,” even during the rush of Christmas. So, let’s seek a quiet place for a few moments each day, shutting out the cacophony of the world, and hope for Christ to come to us, letting His joy and His peace invade our hearts, calming our spirits so that we may “overflow with hope by the power of His Holy Spirit.” Don’t wish away this Advent—greet it with His Joy; find in it His Peace; journey through it with His Hope.

Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for coming to Planet Earth, fully human and completely divine. We rejoice in your birth and give praise for your promise of hope in every season and circumstance of our lives. Amen.