Last December, I walked into a friend’s house. Immediately their young child grabbed me and dragged me into the living room. “Look at our Christmas tree.” I dutifully admired the handmade pipe-cleaner ornaments, but when my gaze reached the very top of the tree, I was shocked. There, carefully balanced, was a Santa hat. The sole focus of this family’s Christmas was very clear.
Most people are concerned with what’s under the tree, but what’s on top of the tree can signify where your hope is placed. In 1 Peter 1:3, we’re told that our hope lies in the birth of Jesus. In order to be crucified and resurrected, Jesus had to first be born —fully human, yet still fully God.
Because of that one night in a dusty barn, we have the hope of eternal life with our Lord. At the end of the day, we are all broken people in a broken world. Trying to see the good. Striving for faith. Longing to find some hope. Tear away all the Santa hats and trappings, and find the answer ― an infant child in a dirty manger. This is it: love and grace that covers all. This is it: the marvel of marvels, that He would call us Beloved.
Santa brings toys that will lose their luster before the kids go back to school. Jesus, however, brings an everlasting hope. This Christmas, let’s take Santa off the top of our tree, whether metaphorically or literally, and put the hope of Jesus as our focal point instead.
Lord, thank you that the birth of Jesus offers me an everlasting hope. Help me to keep my eyes on you during this holiday season. In your name, Amen.
Go Deeper ― Be intentional about the way you celebrate and decorate for Christmas this year. There’s nothing wrong with taking the kids or grandkids to have their picture with Santa. However, make sure that everyone knows the true reason you celebrate Christmas: the hope of Jesus.
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Photo Credit: Jakob Owens