O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
The countdown begins! As a child, December for me meant snow, Santa and a fire in the fireplace. It meant hauling box upon box from our attic in excited expectation of revealing their contents. Each item carefully unwrapped from the prior year’s tissue paper was placed in just the right spot,with mother's guidance of course. Reminiscing over the oldest ones, they were all appreciated and held much sentimental value. The plastic ball of mistletoe, the gold chimes with the silly elf, the ceramic angel and many others fill my memory still. The most precious of all, though was the crèche. It was old when I was little, and we all adored what it stood for. My mother loves Jesus, and she taught us to love him too. This nativity brought the story to life for me. I spent time imagining what it must have been like that night in that stable. Now I imagine what it must have been like to be an Israelite before Messiah appeared; the hopeful longing of her heart for a Savior that was promised. Generations waited and hoped. Many died with hope in their hearts. Scripture said He would be the offspring or seed of a woman. God said He would crush the head of Satan.(Genesis 3:15). We know from Genesis 12:3 that the Savior would be a descendant of Abraham and He would bless ALL nations. Deuteronomy 18:15 says that He would be a prophet to whom we should listen. He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2) of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14). There was much anticipation for a Savior. That night in that town, hope was revealed. The promise was fulfilled.
I still get a hopeful feeling this time of year. My hope now is so much bigger than baby Jesus. It is His indwelling spirit and His triumphant return that cause me to hope.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, our Hope is in you; in your promises, in your mercy, and in your Son Jesus Christ who did not come into this world to judge us but to save us. Thank you for your loving kindness to this sinner and to all who seek you. To you be the glory forever and ever. AMEN