The Eve of Christmas. The Before. The Almost, Not Yet and Soon to Come. The entire month of December works hard to get to that one day twenty five days later. December 25th is a culmination of much anticipation, buying, wrapping, eating, drinking and busy merriment. If we are honest it feels like a whole lot of work to get to that one day. But what if the secret really lies in a different day? What if we lived the month of December and even our whole lives a completely different way? What if today, often thought of as the day before the biggest day of the year, holds just as much hope as Christmas?
Christmas day….the day our Savior was born...the day a way for us to be forgiven and live forever was birthed, is indeed a day to be celebrated! But, if you can just glance over here, onto Christmas Eve just for a moment, perhaps you can catch a glimpse of just as much gospel truth as Christmas. The hope we have today, on a day that is seen as only preparation for the big day, is just as sure as the hope we have tomorrow. The truth is we have this same hope every single day of the year. Every day we wake up, the hope we have in the goodness and faithfulness of God is waiting for us just as it is on Christmas Day. Even on the days you wake up washed again by the grief of deep loss. Even on the days you wake up barren. Still. Even on the days you wake up alone, facing betrayal in ways that just seem like too much. Even on the days where everything looks right to the world but something in your heart is anything but okay. Even today, you have hope. Every single day of the year there is hope waiting for you no matter what.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “Therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24
You have hope right there in your hands. I see you sitting there with your hands open wide, tears streaming down your face. You are afraid to hope again, especially today...maybe tomorrow….but not today. You have hoped before but everything still hurts. You think, “Have I hoped wrong?” But your hands are open and your face is tilted up just enough to see whatever happens. Your hands are open because you have one little bit of hope left in your heart. So you hope, yet again.
It’s okay to hope today. It is okay to hope, because the one thing you truly have hope in is there every single moment of every single day. You have hope in the never ending love of God for YOU. Your heart may still ache, but you have hope. No one or no thing can take this hope from you. It is yours today and every single day. Those open hands are filled every day with the only hope that never changes or even waivers.
I pray for both of us that each day is as big as Christmas in our hearts. I pray for both of us to cling to the hope that is the love of Christ. I wish each and every one of you that has encouraged me to truly live life while clinging to hope, a very Merry Christmas.