Week 1: The Light of Hope
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’
Matthew 1:22-23 (NLT)
One morning, before the sun whispered its way into the horizon, the sky was clear and I could see the stars in all their glory. Yet, it wasn’t the stars that I focused on. It was the darkness that holds them all together.
I’ll save you the full astronomy lesson, but what’s important to know is that the sky is full of all sorts of light (ultraviolet and infrared light, for example) that our eyes can’t perceive. So, while we can detect some of the sparkle from individual stars, we miss so much of the beauty and brilliance that radiates from them.
Still with me? I’m getting to the point, I promise.
The name Jesus means God saves. His name describes what He does. When Jesus arrives on the scene, our attention is easily drawn to the action: Jesus healing the sick, Jesus resurrecting the dead, Jesus sacrificing His life to save us from our sin. These gestures of love and mercy are big, bright, and worthy of all the praise we can muster.
But what about the space between miracles? The times when you’re shoveling snow, preparing a meal, or waiting online for your turn to buy Taylor Swift tickets? These times are the like darkness between stars. In these more mundane moments of our lives, it’s not always as easy to perceive God’s love and mercy at work.
However, Jesus is also called Immanuel, meaning God is with us. This describes who He is rather than what He does. This is the beauty and brilliance of Christmas we could easily miss the rest of the year.
The hope this season rekindles in us is that Jesus saves and Jesus stays. He performs the miraculous and is present with us in the mundane. Jesus gives us the hope that His love will save us, Immanuel gives us the hope that His love will sustain us.
As we celebrate Christmas, this glowing and glamorous light in our year, may our eyes also be opened every day to Christ who is with us, holding everything together, especially the moments between miracles.
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