Advent Devotions 2017
December 7, 2017
Christmas: A Time of Hope
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid: for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.’” Luke 2:10
In the Christmas season, let us remember that when life seems to be dark and difficult, it may be the very time that God is bringing to birth a young baby who may grow up to be the person who will lead us to the way of peace, or discover a cure for cancer or arthritis or some other dread disease. There may be a child born that will enable us to learn how to work together more fully. A baby may be born who will provide hope in new beginnings in many yet unknown areas.
God may also bring a new beginning in your life and mine. The Christmas season, which is inaugurated by the birth of a child, may be the time in which God will bring to birth anew a sense of hope and newness in your heart. The Christian faith is about new beginnings and hope. Advent and Christmastime can be a wonderful time to begin that pilgrimage. God may come in your life and touch you with renewed hope at Christmas, and you may be radically changed and find the opportunity to begin anew.
Christ can be born again in you and me. Phillips Brooks says in one of his hymns, “Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.” Martin Luther was correct when he made the comment, “I care not whether he be the Christ, but whether he be the Christ to you.”
In this Christmas season, we worship Christ as living Lord. So, no matter how bleak the world is politically, how we are war torn, drug invested, or have difficulties, Christmas is a reminder of the hope of change, new insights, love, and the possibility of a better world. The angels sang on Christmas Eve, “I bring you ‘good news’ of great joy.” The birth of the Christ child resounds with hope.
Over 200 years ago, a German composer was living in England. He had had some success in publishing music, but he had come on hard times and had become almost destitute. He just couldn’t seem to write any more. His creditors were on the point of putting him in prison. His right side had become paralyzed. One night somebody left a manuscript by his dingy door and asked him to set it to music.
George Frederick Handel wrote the oratorio, Messiah, containing the famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” and his writing of this piece has not only affected the lives of millions of other people, but it changed his own life as well. In the writing of this composition about the birth of the Messiah, Handel was also reborn. May God bring the same kind of rebirth of hope in our hearts in this Christmas season!
Written by Bill Tuck
Art by Elizabeth