“The Thrill of Hope”
Is there anyone more expectant than a child at Christmastime? Pinterest is full of DIY calendars to help answer the eternal question, “How many days until Christmas?” Children are expectant, or hopeful, that their desires will be fulfilled and that a new dollhouse or game system will appear under the tree.
They spend hours fiddling with wrapped gifts, desperately trying to decipher what each one contains. Then Christmas Eve comes and the anticipation is more than their little hearts can handle. They lie awake all night, waiting for the sliver of a sunrise to pounce on their parents and declare that it is finally Christmas!
Imagine living in the days leading up to Jesus’ birth. Political darkness reigned in the region; oppression and hopelessness were commonplace. God had promised that he would send a Savior one day. After centuries passing with this promise hanging over them, you can imagine that many people lost hope. Many even stopped believing.
Those that still believed were looking toward an event that would reshape humanity—an event that many assumed would come through the powerful hand of a great conqueror, through the deliverance of a nation by a mighty king who would rescue them from oppression and slavery. Instead, what they received was the birth of a child from a scared young woman in an unbelievable scenario. Their Christmas (Savior) story was not what they expected it to be.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:11
The birth of Jesus represents a promise fulfilled. The world around us may seem dark, and it may seem like our prayers are met with silence, but there is always cause for hope. He fulfills his promises. What would our days look like if we lived expectantly about what God is capable of doing? May this Advent season represent a time of anticipation for the wonderful things God has in store for us. His promises never fail!