And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (ESV)
This election year revealed the lack of hope in our nation. The same can be said around the world. People live from day to day without hope that tomorrow will bring anything good to their lives. Broken homes and relationships, bills that can’t be paid, hunger and thirst that is never quenched, oppression that presses down on lives, hatred and bigotry, accusations that never stop, lawlessness, murderous thoughts acted on, and little regard for others. No wonder we are a world without hope.
God foresaw our desperate situation. He knew we would hate Him, and in turn, hate one another. He tried to warn us. But we were blind to the goodness He offered. Oh, how great our sorrow has been through these many years!
But then, in a manger, everything changed. Hope was born! So lowly and insignificant, most of the world chose not to believe. But Hope was born, and for all who look to His coming, life will never be the same.
Yes, there are many of us who live with hope. We trust God’s power to heal our brokenness, to provide for our needs, to quench our hunger and thirst, to free us from oppression, to turn our hate to love, to give us grace, to give us peace, and to fill us with compassion for others. Hope was born in Christ, and we will never be the same!
O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.