This Christmas I am particularly fascinated with the context surrounding Jesus’ birth. I love the pictures of the wise men following a star to find Jesus and of course who can forget the pictures of Him in a manger. There is power in these images. But I further see power in them because of the intense atmosphere that surrounded his birth. As people were looking for the promised Messiah, they lived in an intense time of political rule. So intense, that after Jesus was born, a leader tried to kill him by ordering all the male children in the region of 2 years and younger to be killed. Merry intense Christmas indeed!
This brings me to the power of hope that was rising in the midst of this great darkness. Jesus was the light of the world and was a shining norm for all who would believe in Him. He was the great hope people were looking for. He was the one who would bring people out of darkness and into light. Many thought He would do this through political rule. He did not. He did it by freeing them to live in our world with peace and joy, despite any circumstances that surrounded us.
In the song Oh Holy Night we see these lyrics,
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder break a new and glorious morn.”
These words speak of the thrill of hope that came and continues to come in dark times. A new and glorious standard is raised up to shine bright in the darkness until it eventually overtakes it with light. This new standard is where I am going to change the last word of this famous song. Jesus came forth as the new and glorious “norm.” Hope can be your new normal.
This Christmas, whether you are celebrating with true joy or waiting for hope to arise, rest assured that the thrill of hope can always be yours in Jesus. He can rise in your heart like a morning star to be the new norm of your life. The wise men followed a star of hope until it came to rest over the child of faith. When you follow that star of hope in your heart, it will come to rest over the promise of a faith filled life. Like Jesus’ birth and life demonstrates, hope always gives way to faith regardless of how intense the circumstances.
That my friends is the hope that came from the light of the world being born amidst great darkness to destroy the very works of darkness. He continues to be birthed in people every day, making them the lights of the world. These are the best Christmas lights! So follow the star through any darkness straight on till morning. You will then come to rest in being a child of promise and a light to the world. Come, beak forth into a new a glorious norm.