Hope for a weary world

This past weekend, we put up all our Christmas decorations. And by “we” I mean “my daughters,” because they love doing it so much. In addition to the lights, tree, stockings, and garland, they changed the hand-lettering on the chalkboard backsplash to read, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.”

They couldn’t have chosen a more perfect line for this year. We really do live in a weary world, don’t we? Maybe it’s the weariness from fears, final exams, or finances. Some struggle with drama, depression, or disease. Others are worn out from anger, anxiety, or abandonment.  No matter how much you fake it, you know just how weary you are on the inside.

This is why the idea that there is “a thrill of hope” is so important. The world needs a thrill of hope. You need a thrill of hope. We all need the hope that soothes the weariness. We’ve spent enough time looking for hope in Christmas lights, traditions, and parties. Or alcohol and the wrong relationships. Or in shopping or family time or food. If they haven’t already, those will eventually let you down though.

The hope you need comes from knowing that, when the time was right, God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world. Seeing the baby in a manger reminds us that we have hope because God is with us. Seeing the baby in the manger reminds us that Jesus came to live in our place and take on the Father’s wrath for us. He came to defeat death by rising from the dead and ascending to heaven where he lives with the Father and is waiting for us to join him! Now, with that secure eternal future, we remember, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Now that we have that real hope of eternal glory, we spend the rest of this Christmas season looking for ways to share the real hope that we have. These are only a few ideas:

  • Open your house, make meals, and bless others. Live generously, remembering that your possessions are gifts from God to bless others.
  • Say hello to people at worship. Smile and say, “I’m happy you’re here” to long-time friends and new faces.
  • Reach out to those you know who are struggling. Send a text or prayer to encourage them.
  • Find ways to serve in the community. Love others as Jesus loved them.
  • Use social media to share your faith. You can share passages or Time of Grace videos. But you can also refrain from angry posts and the name-calling that seems so prevalent.

What are some ways that you share the hope that you have? Please leave a note in the comments to encourage everyone else around you.

Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who has already watched the movie Elf once this year. There’s a chance her kids will make her watch it at least six more times and quote it 3,617 times.

 

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