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A Thrill of Hope

This morning I had the realization that Christmas is just a few short days away (*insert wide-eyed emoji here). How did we get here? When did this happen?

These are just a few thoughts that have been running through my head. This is my favorite time of year and it feels like I’ve arrived at this moment and can’t remember how I got here. Sort of like when you’re driving familiar roads and you arrive at your destination with no real recollection of even starting your car. I’ve attended Christmas parties and bought some gifts but I haven’t truly quieted my heart in reflection and gratitude to God for what this season means. It’s never too late though.

I want to pose some questions to you that, I pray, will help you have some quiet moments of reflection over this past year and help you remember how you arrived at this moment in your life. A year flies by and if we’re not careful, the things we experienced and learned will become vague memories rather than concrete truths we can further build upon. So here they are:

1)   What is something you learned in 2014? About yourself? About God?
2)   What is your proudest moment of 2014?
3)   Who was an inspirational person in your life this year?
4)   Where have you experienced the Lord’s freedom in 2014? Where do you need to experience in 2015?
5)   What are you thankful for?
6)   What is a personal goal you have for yourself in 2015?
7)   What does the birth of Christ truly mean to you?
8)   How has God’s gift in Christ defined your life?

I’m not sure what each of you walked into as you left school or work for Christmas vacation. I know there is joy in being home but I imagine there are hard things you are walking through right now as well. Take comfort in this verse:

“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

  Also remember these words from “O Holy Night”

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’

Christ’s coming gave immeasurable worth to our souls. What love the Father has for us that he would send his Son! And though we are weary and life is hard, we experience the thrill of hope that came with the birth of Christ because we know it means we are condemned to death no longer! We have new life and freedom in Christ! May you be strengthened by these truths!

Merry Christmas! May your days be merry and bright!
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