Our Advent Scripture passage for Day 16 is Luke 1:46-56.
And Mary said:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
because He has looked with favor
on the humble condition of His slave.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and His name is holy.
His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has done a mighty deed with His arm;
He has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
He has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
mindful of His mercy,
just as He spoke to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his descendants forever.
And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.
Christmas begins with Christ.
Throughout the ages, people have embraced Jesus, asking for His mercy to wash over them, just as He did for the lowly shepherds who first received the Good News that the Messiah had come. Sadly, there are many, many more who do not.
Sunday night, our family activity was watching our church’s Christmas musical, entitled “The Hope of Christmas.” What resonated for me in the production was that usually church musicals wrap the plot line with a neatly tied red bow, making everything right in the world. But, everything is not right in our world. Our eyes still behold injustice, corruption and murder. Our ears are battered with arguments, posturing and criticism. Our hearts ache from abuse, betrayal and loneliness. Family, friends and others reject the message of hope at Christmas, though we are desperate for them to believe and receive His peace. In the musical, several of the main characters chose to not follow Jesus, except one who finally believes.
Maybe this Christmas, you are short on hope. You’ve prayed for so long for your spouse, or parent, a wayward child or a dear friend to finally yield their hearts to Jesus, and they’ve refused. Perhaps you’ve been struggling with a very difficult situation, and you’ve strained to see that light at the end of the tunnel only to be greeted with heavy darkness.
Look to the skies. See the opened heavens proclaiming good news of great joy and peace for all people, even you. Jesus is alive!! Because He lives, hope can never die.
Keep sharing, keep believing, keep trusting. Jesus’s love for you and for them will not falter.
There is still hope this Christmas, in Christ.