A Hope forgotten..Or is it?
The time is upon us: A time of remembrance, celebration, and gratitude. But why is it that so many of us, including myself, find our hearts troubled during this time? Over 2000 years ago, God did something on our behalf that no parent could ever do: He gave His only Son. He allowed Jesus to be born a man, to live for us, and to die for us. As I prayed with my daughter this evening, I couldn’t imagine giving up our most precious gift for anyone. Yet God demonstrated His great love in this “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Did you catch that? God didn’t wait for you and I to repent. He didn’t wait for us to cry out “Forgive me”. While we were still sinners, when we didn’t even recognize Him, He came and lived and died on our behalf. Think back upon your life, the moments you are not proud of, and know that Jesus died for us in spite of all those moments. I regret to admit that I have spent more time in depravity than I have in devotion to Christ.
As I grew weary with the dreariness of shopping in my least favorite store two days before Christmas, I felt a gentle nudge on my heart. God sent His son to die for all of us. And yet, here I am grumbling as I fight through the crowds of other fellow discontented people so we can all “give cheerfully”? Have we all missed the point? As our soldiers fight for our freedom in foreign lands far removed from their families… As the homeless still wander the streets of the richest country in the world…As children die from starvation in the remote parts of the world…Here I stand grumbling, angry at the sheer frivolous nature of man and myself. We, the richest country in the world, are truly the poorest souls of them all.
God gave the greatest gift He could ever give on Christmas. He gave His only Son Jesus Christ to us and I am afraid we have diminished the meaning of it all to a mere gift exchange. You send me a gift, I send you a gift, you send us a card, and we send you a card…?
What did God give? Why? Did we give Him anything? Do we deserve such a gift? Are we driven to give out of generosity or out of societal pressure? Can we truly grasp the significance of such a gift?
As I sit here pondering it all, I can’t help but think of our daughter who is truly enraptured by the wonder of the true meaning of Christmas. She is genuinely excited! She sees this as what it is. Jesus’ birthday and we are going to have a party to celebrate His birth. My heart aches that I have fallen into spiritual disrepair. I thank God for the gift of a child, Jesus, in Him we have true hope. This is the Hope that will never disappoint. I thank God for the gift of our daughter, that through her simple joy, Her Daddy was able to remember that His Hope and it is not forgotten.
Andy J. Starnes