I remember, as a child, getting so excited when the Christmas specials came on television. I also loved watching the Christmas musicals. It seemed to get me in the spirit! And even now, the best is when we start singing the Christmas carols at church! While it always brought excitement to me, I now think it brings hope, which is exciting. This morning, as I was in my office, writing this, I heard, “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.” In the hall was Mr. Pat and Mrs. Linda, wearing reindeer antlers, going from classroom to classroom singing with the children. As they ended with “Silent Night” I thought of how that was as much for me as the children! It was for all God’s children! And it still brings an exciting hope to me!
In my Advent small group, we studied the lyrics to “Joy To The World”. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King Let every heart prepare Him room…” We shared how we need to prepare more room for God in our life. We also agreed that in a year as tough as 2020, it is nice to remember, “He rules the world with truth and grace...” This is something we are going to hold onto. While we are filled with joy that Jesus was born, we had never thought about Advent as a time to anticipate His second coming. We almost did not do the study because “it is such a busy time of year!” Exactly, that is why we needed to do it now! Preparing Him room! We shared that we couldn’t wait til we sang, “Joy To The World” because we would never sing it the same again. 1 Peter 1: 3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…”
This year, especially, I think people are looking for hope. What is hope? Hope is a feeling of expectation. Hope is also defined as a feeling of trust. I don’t think I have ever thought of hope in that way. When we have hope in God, we have a feeling of trust which gives us peace. Peace that only God can give. Philippians 4: 7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Well, Sunday we sang “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” which was what I needed. The words brought comfort as we sang, “that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.” Then we sang, “Joy To The World” and I could not help but think of my Advent small group.
That afternoon I attended the Celebrate Christmas musical at my church. Two songs really spoke to me because of the lyrics, “All is well all is well. Lift up your voices and sing. Born is now Emmanuel. Born is our Lord and Savior.” With God in control, all is well! A simple and powerful message of hope! But the song that stuck with me was, “We Need A Little Christmas” because we do “need a little Christmas right this very minute!” That sums up 2020 to me! If you are looking for hope, celebrate through praise and worship! You cannot be in the midst of worship and praise and not have hope! While the musicals are over and December 25 has passed, we can still celebrate Jesus!