On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, our younger daughter helped me put our ornaments on the Christmas tree. We have quite a collection at this point!
We did lose some this year, however – but for a good reason! Our older daughter took all of her ornaments to hang on the tree she and her husband bought as they celebrate their first Christmas together as a married couple.
Many of our ornaments come from our travels. I try to buy one every time we go on a trip. There are still a few handmade ornaments from our girls’ younger years and a few my husband and I received when we were teachers years ago.
But there’s one set of three that always get hung near the top of the tree. They’re beautiful and probably cost more than I would normally pay for an ornament. They’re heavy, so we have to find a strong branch for them.
Before having kids, I worked as an administrative assistant for the VP of a hospital system. He and his wife gifted me these ornaments for Christmas one year. Each of these beautifully decorated balls has one word on it.
Peace. Joy. Hope.
I could write about all three of these words. God is the true giver of each of these in our lives. But the one that I’m dwelling on this year is hope.
Thinking back over Scripture, we know that before Jesus’ birth, the world had been in darkness for centuries. Yet in Genesis 3, God had promised a Redeemer, the one who would bruise the serpent’s head.
And as the story unfolded, beginning with Eve and down through Mary, there was the gift of hope.
First, it was a promise. It took a long time to come to fruition. Generation after generation was born, lived, and died without seeing that hope realized.
Until finally, in God’s perfect timing, he sent his Son. Hope became reality, embodied in a man who lived a simple life yet worked miracles and spoke truth and showed compassion.
Maybe, for a moment, hope seemed to die along with him on the cross, its flame extinguished by the enemy Satan. But what fresh hope burst forth on that glorious morning when the angel sat by the empty tomb and proclaimed, “He is not here: for he is risen, as He said.” [Matthew 28:6]
Hope is real, my friends. It’s eternal life in Heaven waiting for those who have accepted the loving, gracious gift of God’s Son as the Savior from their sin.
It’s seeing loved ones who’ve gone to Heaven before us, reuniting with them forever.
It’s here today in the Word of God, reading promises and knowing that God will keep them.
It’s his presence through the Holy Spirit giving comfort and help through our struggles.
Expect and believe. Trust and move forward.
We serve the God of hope.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” ~Romans 15:13
This season let’s unwrap the gift of God’s hope and praise him for this gift that is ours every moment of every day.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” ~Psalm 42:11
- 7 Gifts I’d Like to Open That Won’t Be Under My Tree This Year
- 10 Special Gifts from Jesus to Unwrap This Christmas (an object lesson)
- 7 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas