We too often rely on human understanding to make sense of a world marked by conflict, anger, bitterness, and violence. As the monumental year of 2017 draws to a close politics increasingly defines many Americans’ lives. Hope dims when we view the latest news dominating headlines and filling airwaves.
Christmas calls us to look beyond the moment and ourselves.
More than 2000 years ago a child was born. At the time that looked unexceptional. Even the location, a stable amid animals, gave little pause in the poor, arid province so far from the imperial capital of Rome. Wealth, power, glory—all had vanished from the kingdom of Solomon’s time. Another baby was born, seemingly destined to live and die unknown and remembered by no one.
However, God became man and entered history. Jesus suffered what we suffer. He paid the price of our sins. He gave us hope. And he gave us salvation. Because of his death we can look forward to enjoying God in eternity.
This divine truth is what Christmas is really about. And should dispel the despair that sometimes settles over our lives. Our ambitions falter, families fracture, and communities divide. Our nation faces daunting, even frightening challenges at home and abroad.
But the birth that we celebrate at Christmas reminds us that our triumph is guaranteed. All we must do is be faithful. God will bring the victory. “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings who cannot save,” wrote David in the Psalms. Rather, blessed are those “whose hope is in their God.”
A new year beckons. We should enter it filled with hope. Through the prophet Jeremiah God told us of his plans “to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That future is now.