Sunday, December 25, 2016
Dec 23, 2016
Everyone views Christmas in a different way. For those who do not celebrate it, Christmas is just one of many federal holidays that offers little more than a vacation day away from work. Even for those Christians who do celebrate Christmas, the day can often have a variety of meanings and feelings attached to it.
Children may see Christmas only as a day in which Santa Claus brings them gifts from “wish lists” that were once prepared for Santa’s eyes only but now magically appear under the Christmas tree. For others, it is a day that will be spent alone without family or friends due to circumstances beyond their control.
Still others will find themselves where they have been the other 364 days of the year. They will be homeless and struggling just to get through the day without a desire to be remind-ed of past family traditions at Christmastime, when huddling around a warm fireplace to exchange presents was once heart-warming, but now too painful to relive.
What Christmas evokes in me and so many others I know, differs with the circumstances we may find ourselves in each year.
This year, one word truly resonates with how I feel about this upcoming Christmas. I’m optimistic that things are going to turn out OK. I feel “hopeful” for a brighter future for our Country. My hope comes from the fact the people of our Country is what makes it good and makes it strong.
You may be thinking it is quite naïve of me to remain hopeful with the numerous unsettling events in the news and the unsettled feelings many have over the change in our Country’s leadership. Many have expressed fear that our Country is at risk of losing even more of our freedoms and question how this could produce a feeling of hope.
Some rightfully point out that our nation’s debt is impossible to understand and makes our children and our grandchildren’s financial future more hopeless than hopeful. Some are fearful of the refugees who are admitted to our Country, at times without proper vetting.
Yes, there are many components that have been pro-posed that could take the country down but it doesn’t make me any less hopeful. Why, you may ask?
I am hopeful because I know that “man” is not in charge. I believe we must remember, as Christians, must live our lives for God and not for man or woman. We also must not live our lives in fear, but rather we must live them in faith. I truly believe both President Obama and President-elect Trump are good men and have nothing but the best intentions for our country, but ultimately our God is in charge.
Yes, I am hopeful because…….Once nestled in a manger in Bethlehem, the One who came to give us “hope” lay sleeping while kings traveled from afar to honor Him.
His mother and father watching over the baby, beheld the Savior who had just been born. It was the birth of a Savior who became sin so that we might be forgiven of our sins and who died for us so that we could have everlasting life.
How could anyone not be hopeful during this season when, as Christians, we know who gives us life and promises a future that is beyond comparison to any future that we may ever experience on this earth? It is a future that is filled with signs of His love for us.
Every day, I see those signs from God in the form of miracles that only God could have arranged.
It gives me hope and should give you hope to know that there are decent and compassionate people. There are so many people who still come together to do the right thing, not because they think they have to, but because they know that God wants them to. I believe people do the right thing not because they are “legally” obligated to do so but because they feel a “moral obligation” to serve others as Christ did.
Just look around. There is plenty to be hopeful for this season.
I put my hope in a God who came to give us hope that one day all of us will celebrate Christmas together in a place where everyone knows each other and we’re all one family. I am hopeful for you and your family that you will also experience the joy and love that is shared at Christmas and all-year-round.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and God filled hope for the New Year!
Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,