I love Christmas. The cheer of the season, Christmas carols, bright lights, giving of gifts, delicious food, and being with family. Above all else, I love Christmas because of the greatest gift of all - our eternal hope, Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon once stated, “the true significance of Christmas was that it ‘compelled’ people to ‘think of the birth of Christ’ and that the Incarnation was the foundation of mankind’s salvation and that made it all the more beautiful.”
Today’s passage describes Simeon as a righteous man that was expectantly waiting for the promised Messiah. The Jewish people expected and longed for the Messiah - the one who would put an end to suffering and establish an eternal kingdom and “uphold it with justice and righteousness.” (Isaiah 9:1-7). The expected Savior came, fulfilling all the prophecies, and giving us hope.
Biblical hope is not based on circumstances, but on Christ. Hope is more than wishful thinking. It holds firm and keeps trusting no matter how dark situations may seem. One of the Hebrew words for hope is qavah which means to wait for and is an important concept in the Bible. Our lives are marked by hope when we are led by the Holy Spirit, as we are reminded in Romans 15:13, “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.”
For some, Christmas is a time of celebration, excitement and being with family, while for others it is a time of loneliness, depression and grief. When we need hope, we can ask for it in prayer and trust it will be delivered. No matter what Christmas holds for you, be encouraged that God loves you and came to be near you through his son, Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we can have hope no matter how difficult the circumstances, and we can trust in Jesus’s promise to come again in glory.
Lord, we thank you that you are our eternal hope. You are the hope for the hopeless, and you help me to trust in you during dark times. Thank you for giving me tangible reminders today of your hope. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Throughout this day: Listen for the theme of hope in worship songs, especially Christmas ones. Light Of The World by Lauren Daigle