Hope from Love

By now, there’s much evidence of Christmas around us.  Colourful lights and decorations have found their way in and around our homes and  we’ve been bombarded by the “you’d-better-get-shopping” message.  There’s a “hum” in the air and it’s gaining strength, like the sound of an orchestra warming up before a concert.  Each year many of us say we’re not going to get swept up by the busyness and all the holiday hype but, somewhere along the line, we find ourselves doing, visiting, eating, buying and giving more than we had planned.

Perhaps this is because Christmas really does bring out the child in us.  Let me explain…  It’s been said that children are naturally hopeful and expectant.  Hope is a source of strength that keeps us looking, waiting and “hanging in” even when things don’t look so good.  Children who know they are loved have a knack for hoping, despite repeated warnings, that their naughtiness will be overlooked on Christmas morning.  Hope springs from love.  So when we say, “Christmas brings out the child in us,” I believe we’re actually referring to the power it has to produce hope in us.  Knowing we’re deeply love by God throws the door of hope wide open because we know that with God, the impossible becomes, well… not just possible, but expected!  Christmas, after all, was God’s ultimate expression of love for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”  (John 3:16).  

Further, for those who have experienced the power of God’s love, the hope of Christmas is not empty or just some kind of religious hype; it is not contrived, manufactured or conditioned in us by radio jingles, store flyers or TV commercials.  It’s the real deal . . . and even if our celebration of Christmas falls short of what is pictured in the movies, we are not shaken, we are not downcast because the eyes of our heart are not on the flashy, temporal things of this world, but on the One whose gift of love has secured for us an eternal blessing “reserved in heaven for [us]”   (1 Peter 1:4).

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly”  (Romans 5:5-6).

This Christmas, you and I can inspire hope in others by going out of our way to sincerely and sacrificially show them they are loved by God.  Where there is love, hope and childlike faith will follow!

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