A Dose of Christmas Hope
Twenty-first-century populations find themselves gripped in a global fight for life. Throughout, and before these days, the Lord ceaselessly spoke one word to me concerning it. The word was hope. Little did I know at the time the battleground descending on earth would make people struggle for hope. More than 125 times Scripture mentions hope. Not only as a remedy for hard times but more so as the way we overcome them. World powers of today work relentlessly to stamp out our hope. And thereby return humanity to the world that moved Jesus Christ, eternity’s sovereign to take on flesh and come to redeem it. Before then, the earth was engulfed in unconstrained darkness. Humans were ravaged with wickedness that had no counterbalance or counteraction. Humans lived debased unbridled lives. Anything one person or power wanted to do to another was done often without repercussions. The great was exempt, the weak despised. Callousness and brutality reigned unchecked during those times. Because there were no Christians back then to show or offer another kind of life, people knew and hoped for nothing better. Hope and hopelessness were wishful thinking with biased realities. In good times, hope is swapped for happiness. In trying times helplessness draws on it. Thankfully that is not so much today because of Jesus Christ. Unending human atrocities moved God Almighty to intervene. He did so by sending His only begotten Son into the world to foreshadow what Christmas would commemorate.
Our courageous Supreme Being left His glorious abode to make Himself into a vulnerable infant. He took the chance above chances that those His Father entrusted His infancy and childhood to would be faithful in their charge. The mission was an all-or-nothing one. Either Jesus would be found a faithful triumphant Savior of the world or this creation would be lost forever. All of creation, not just earth, and humans depended on those God brought into Immanuel’s secret mission as well. Keeping His confidences, and submitting to His training would finish what He incarnated to do. Should His confidantes betray Him, humankind was doomed to die out. Everything the Creator ever did hang in the balance, resting on the fragile, hope-rich body of a tiny baby boy. It is no wonder people have such a difficult time with Christmas. Its backstory is so incredible that it motivated dark powers stalking the little child’s life to create a counterfeit version. They overwrote the sting of the creation-wide loss it was about to and eventually did suffer. Aiming to confuse the countless souls' God planned to reclaim from them, the false account would cause them to reject Jesus Christ instead of being saved by Him. Over the centuries Jesus’ incarnation is told from various angles emphasizing different parts of it. But the basics of Christ’s embodiment are these.
Humanity was abducted and lost to its Creator. The abduction did not happen to tangible bodies but the human seeds stored in Adam and Eve’s physical bodies. Jesus’ redemption sacrifice was His duty because His breath blew the breath of life into Adam’s formed from the corpse. With that breath came Adam’s soul and his lifeblood. With both, the man would reproduce endless variations of himself in this world. Also with that breath came innumerable human seeds that would pass on the Almighty’s deathless life to everything Adam and his wife procreated. History shows God’s vision seemed to fail. It did not. Adam, unaware of the immense trust placed in him did not know his body carried the life of all humanity, including the reproductive substance of Christ’s physical body. He dismissed Christ’s seed in him disregarding the Almighty’s vision of a brand-new world, its species, and eras. Adam was to impregnate his wife with godly descendants to populate the earth with a people God ordained to administrate this creation for Him. Eve was to birth the Creator’s family, those to replicate His Son Jesus Christ in flesh. Instead, Adam’s naiveté passed on the doomed life of creation’s first and most powerful death agent. The hopelessness of the situation seemed irreversible. But thanks be to God, it turned out not to be. The way sin entered the human race is exactly the way salvation would redeem it, through the womb of a woman. Eve conceived and brought forth doom and despair. Mary, Jesus’ mother brought forth the Savior of the world that would reverse it. Jesus Christ’s nativity was not for the material world, but the Almighty’s human race.
We are on earth as Christians today not because a new religion was born, but because our Maker’s Son was born like us to buy us back from His adversary with His blood. We celebrate Christ, not with commercial purchases, but with the hope that does not disappoint. Hope not deception, love and not hate; peace and not chaos is what this season is about. God used an infant to restore us to Him, why you do want to celebrate the person that enabled Christmas, not just the Christmas holiday itself. As for those who say it is no more than a pagan holiday, my answer to you is this. EVERYTHING was pagan back then, which is the reason “God became flesh” and entered the planet as an infant. He did so to redeem us with His blood and not only to bring peace and goodwill on earth. The Lord had to get inside us to get us inside Him again. Endless accounts tell why Jesus came to earth and before His people lost their way, how He got here. The God of all creation hovered over a young virgin and by His Holy Spirit impregnated her with Christ’s seed. That act, essentially not virtually, transported God’s begotten Son from heaven to earth to pass humanity from death to life; doom to dignity, and hate to love. These are what Christmas is all about. And all of this was decided and accomplished before the wise men saw the star in the heavens and before the shepherds found the babe in the manger.
Throughout the BC (before Christ) era, few humans could imagine a life better than what they were born into. A little babe in a manger changed all of that. Jesus as an infant brought the Godhead’s genes and the Messiah’s bloodline into the world. As heaven’s Christ He incarnated to free enslaved humankind from the cruelty, abuse, and injustice releasing from the powers of death and doom. These are why the Almighty and His Redeemer opened the world to Christmas. It memorializes the entire account of the God that became flesh; the one who risked all to save His creation formed the bedrock of Christmas. Reliving the beating heart of the tiny life recalls humanity’s only hope. Every year, the minuscule seed that became the Son of God and the Son of Man reminds us that neither we nor our hopes are abandoned in this life. Scripture’s account of Jesus’ manifestation means to give even the hardest of hearts reason to be tender for the season, and maybe, even inspire some to surrender to hope for a little while.
Hope, like everything else that affects or depresses, is a person, not just a feeling or sentiment. The God of hope dispenses His power to push us through sadness, despair, and depression. All of which take advantage of the Christmas season in the best of times. This season it is more crucial than ever that we grab a hold of the Lord’s hope. You see, hopelessness dims God’s light and life in your soul. It mocks your confidence by daring you to overcome it. Fight back this season; refuse to give in to defeat or loneliness. Instead, seek the Godman that tiny baby became. Praise Him for His courage and commitment to His creation. Learn about that man and why He risked so much to save the world. Find out how He keeps everything under control, and about His Holy Spirit who is here to preserve and prosper us until the end. Rebuke sadness and pull on your inherent “gut-grit” to resist the oppression that wants you to suffer this Christmas. Rejoice over knowing why it exists. Light up your world. Make it festive. If you cannot buy gifts, draw on your natural talent as they did in the old days and create them. Perhaps you can initiate a family and friend Christmas gift contest that votes on and rewards the best gift made. Imagine doing this every year. Come up with a rotating Handmade Christmas Gift Contest trophy that makes its rounds to every year’s winner. You and yours can also create Christmas traditions that honor that tiny baby as its centerpiece. Boldly tell Christ’s true story to your family. And maybe dramatize it as part of your family’s holiday festivities. These are just some ideas for you to put your love for Jesus Christ and His holiday to work. By all means, though, defy the darkness. Don’t let it depress you or demean your hope.