I love music and I love to sing, especially at this time of year. I have always found that the carols surrounding Jesus’ birth hold a lot of hope and mystery.
This Christmas, there is one verse that has been a theme for me....
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
The weary world rejoices.
Right now I feel that weariness. Maybe you can point to the fact that I’m a deep feeler, or a therapist, but I feel it deep in my bones. There is real pain, suffering, and hurt in our world. There are divisions, misunderstandings and worries to fill enough buckets for a lifetime.
There are not enough presents or cookies to make this weariness okay.
So sometimes when we try to just focus on the décor, food and presents, my heart hurts a little. It’s not that I don’t love those things, I do. But it can feel inauthentic to celebrate at a time when there is so much to lament.
And yet…This seems to be the exact space in which we connect to hope that comes from a God who enters in our mess. I have learned that one of the most loving things we could offer someone we care about is our empathy for their experience.
And this is what our God has done for us.
He chose to know us in the most loving way possible, our human experience. This makes his goodness all the more good. Because who would choose this weariness; only a God who desired for us to know Him. I am encouraged because we who are weary and laid down low, WE can have a hope. And not the kind that has a receipt or expiration date.
And this is what I love about Christmas. Every time I begin to lean in the direction of an inauthentic hope, I'm reminded of how unsatisfying that is. There is nothing that can fill up hope, like hope.
It’s my prayer that as we draw closer to Christmas, none of us would settle for less than the real thing.