Read:

But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. Luke 2:10-11 (HCSB)

Reflect:

The holidays themselves can be a difficult time for people.  The loss of loved ones, sickness, finances, and brokenness can all affect the joy that we should have in this time of year. Even if our intentions are good, it can be a time where our focus can get off kilter, and we lose cause for any kind of celebration.

Christmas, however isn’t just a tradition to remind some of us of what we don’t have, but the message of the Christmas story is a joyous reminder of what we do have, something that can never be taken from us, hope.

J. I. Packer states “the Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.” 
Because He hung on that cross we have hope that our pain is only temporary.  Because he hung on that cross we have joy that though we are wretched, we are forgiven. Because he hung on that cross, we have the assurance of eternal life, with God. It all started in a manger, and when we reflect on these things, circumstance fades, our eyes focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and the greatest gift we have ever been given, hope in Jesus Christ.

Pray:

Jesus, I thank you so much that you would leave the glory and splendor of Heaven to come down as a servant and die for a wretch like me.  Help me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and the hope and joy found in you on this day.  I love you Lord, and I thank you for hope and peace only You can give.  In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.

Your Turn:

Are the holidays a difficult time for you?

Rejoice in the hope that is Jesus, and spend time in Isaiah 53 this week.