I stood in a long line at the post office this past week, arms filled with packages to be mailed. My gifts are on their way now, headed for family and friends across the country. Some packages will be opened immediately since the recipients know the contents, my annual haystack delivery, my nutty chocolate treat that has become a family tradition. Other packages will be set aside just waiting for Christmas Day.
What about you? Are you waiting for something special this season? Are you, like me, longing for something more than the packages under your tree?
We look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ, will be revealed.
Titus 2:13 – NLT
There’s a Christmas gift waiting for you to open. It has your name on it. You won’t find it under your tree. It’s not wrapped with shiny, seasonal paper. No sparkly ribbon adorns its frame.
It didn’t come by UPS. No, not Amazon either. Its presence is a bit of a mystery. You can’t quite understand how it found you, but you know quite clearly that it’s real.
You’re pretty sure you know the sender although there’s no gift tag with the “From” line filled in. It’s just the kind of thing this friend would do. An unexpected gift, shrouded in mystery, given freely with no thought of reciprocity.
You’ve known this friend for a long time, yet your relationship has had its twists and turns. Sometimes you have been extremely close, talking openly and often. Other times, there are days, weeks, maybe months without a good conversation. However, the distance is never his doing. It’s yours.
Still, no matter how long since you have spoken, he never forgets about you. It’s like he is just waiting there for your call, always faithful, even if you are not.
Yes, surely the gift is from him. It’s just the kind of thing he would do.
And in this melancholy Christmas season, you really need an unexpected gift. You need something to brighten your day, something to put a smile on your face and a spring back in your step.
Go ahead and open it. See what he has sent you. I think it’s just what you need. Actually, I know it is.
I know it because I received the same present. We have this friend in common. He’s been good to me, just as he has been good to you.
He’s the God of Love, and He has sent us the gift of Hope.
He wrapped it in swaddling clothes and laid it in a manger. He put sandals on its feet and sent it down the dusty street, healing the sick and lame, giving sight to the blind. Love carried it to the hillside and hung it on a cross. Love laid it in a tomb, and then on the third day, rolled the stone away.
Love came down at Christmas and gave us Hope. That Hope is Jesus Christ.
Christ is born. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. That is our Hope, our very real Christmas gift.
This precious gift is there waiting for you, just waiting for you to open. Let it bring light to your eyes and a song to your soul. The God of Love has given us Hope, a confident hope, a forever hope. We have been given the gift of Jesus, and nothing on this earth can take that away.
So go ahead. Open your gift. Touch it, claim it, cling to it today. May your hope bring you joy and fill your heart with peace.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7 – NLT
O God of Love, You have given us Hope, the Hope that is in knowing Jesus Christ. Because we know Jesus, we know the joy of life eternal. We have the hope of heaven. With that hope dwelling within us, we can face tomorrow, whatever it may bring. You have freely given us the gift of Hope, and with that gift comes joy and peace.