The holiday season is the most depressing and stressful time of the year for many people. Â Tragic news headlines offer very little hope. Â An increase of deaths seems to occur at the end of the year. Â So many families are grief-stricken because ofÂ the death of loved ones and the many perplexities of life. Â Moreover, many families are struggling financially, which increases their sadness because they lack the resources to purchase gifts, gadgets and basic essential items. Â It seems like a paradox to hear about and know of Â such hopelessness during a time when this season is meant to bring peace, joy, happiness and hope â€“celebrating the birth of the Christ. Unfortunately, too many are hopeless!
However, I found there is something worth consideration as it relates to the Christmas holiday seasonâ€”the birth of Jesus recorded in the second chapter of Luke.Â From the announcement of Jesusâ€™ birth until after he was born and placed in an animal feeding trough in a stable, Mary and Josephâ€™s situation could be viewed as unpleasant and despicable.Â In essence, it could be said that they were in a hopeless situation, especially after receiving a â€œwordâ€ from God declaring she was highly favored and that the Lord was with her. Yet, from the looks of things surrounding the birth of the Child- the Savior, Mary was not highly favored, which could have been reason to question if the Lord was with her. Not to mention, she was a virgin, but pregnant!Â
Â Nevertheless, in spite of conditions and circumstances, Godâ€™s plan and will concerning every detail of their life was unfolding. Purpose and destiny from before the foundations of the world were being fulfilled. Â Still, after Jesus’ birth, things did not immediately change for Mary and Joseph; they were still situated in the most unlikely place for a King to be born. However, a heavenly host was sent to shepherds in the field to announce the good news of Jesusâ€™ birth, which would bring great joy for all people (Luke 2:8-11). Â Then after the good news that was to bring great joy, Mary and Joseph had to flee to safety.
Good news in a hopeless situation and facing life’s challenges? Mary and Joseph trusted God’s word concerning their situation and the Child. Â Although they faced unpleasantness in the process, they held onto the Promise God had entrusted to them–the Messiah, Son of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:31-33; Matthew 1:18-23).
Consider this perspective:Â If we always look at the unpleasant circumstances and situations during this holiday season, and focus solely on the conditions and our dilemma, we will miss the good news and the great joy of the season. Â The focus is not on the â€œtemporaryâ€ conditions and unpleasant circumstances during the season.Â It is the eternal messageâ€¦the good news about God sending a Savior, a King to reign forever on the Throne. Â For us today, it is still about the message that inspires a personal encounter of such power that we are propelled from a lowly place of hopelessness to a higher place of purpose and potential. Â The celebration of Christmas should inspire us to ascend into the spiritual realm of glory so that we can rise above any challenges that we will ever face in this life. It is this message of hope that says even in my now, through Christ, I will expect (hope) better, greater, and do more to know Him.Â
Let this be a season of hope! Â Jesus Christ, Godâ€™s Gift! We celebrate Him! He is our hope during this holiday season and always!
Â â€œDo not allow the gloom of your â€œnowâ€ overcast your glistening future!â€ â€“Queen E. F. Phillips
â€œGive birth to purpose in spite of unfavorable conditions.â€ â€“ Queen E. F. Phillips
What does Christmas mean to you? What will you do differently this holiday season to keep Hope alive?
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