May the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NASB)
We stood in my parent's home looking at the huge box topped with a bow. At twenty months old, my firstborn child gazed at the gift with twinkling eyes of hope. Armed with the understanding that something good was underneath that paper, he grasped firmly to the first strip and pulled with all his little might. As the wrapping peeled away, the mystery of a yellow ride-in car was revealed. An unmistakable thrill followed, accompanied by his shouts of "Get it out! Get it out! Get it out!"
Even now, seventeen years later, I remember the joy that was written on his face. His joy was only surpassed by my own because he loved the gift I had gotten for him. "Behold I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people. For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10b-11a (NASB)
I wonder if God is watching to see if we too might pull back on the Christmas season trappings to reveal the gift He sent us, and experience all over again the hope we felt in coming to know Him. That we might shout "get it out" and put Jesus on full display so that those around us see the "great joy" that God has sent. And I wonder if when we make Him the center of our celebration, God is not looking down feeling great joy Himself that He gave to us a gift we love so much.
Jesus is the gift where our hope is anchored. He is sure and true. Often, the cares of the world wrap around us, choking out the hope we have. If we believe that a second advent will occur, then we must raise high the cross. For those shopping for hope, joy, peace, or love, our lives should be a window where Jesus is the display.
For we stand as testimonies, in the time between His birth and His return, to show others the only true hope for the world.
Dig Deeper |
Additional Liturgical Advent Readings |
Action Item |
Tell your children about your salvation experience. Share the gospel with a neighbor or friend.
Jesus, may Christmas this year remind me how to live expecting your return, and may those around me see that You are the hope that I have in a world that so desperately needs You. In Your Name, Amen.
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The post is part of the linkup at Susan B. Mead.