Mom, what’s your favorite Christmas song?
Easy. O Holy Night. I also like the Barenaked Ladies version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen but O Holy Night has always been my fav.
And your least favorite?
Little Drummer Boy. I mean, meh.
Since the local radio station started cranking out Christmas music before Thanksgiving I’ve already heard my favorite song, mostly Mariah’s version, many times.
A thrill of hope…the weary world rejoices.
This year those words are sticking to my insides.
A thrill of hope.
The collective we, the world, we are weary. The families. The communities and counties and countries. We are a scraping, angry, hungry, misunderstood and emptied out people. We have settled into discontent. Our emaciated souls are starving for genuine hope.
And so when it comes it brings a thrill. A shock of electricity to our apathy and numbness, a holy blast to our guarded living.
Do you remember your emptiness, your shame, your unbearable burden? Do you remember the suffocating strife that stole your joy? Do you remember the awful pressure to prove you were sorry, could do better, could be worthy? Do you remember the gnawing ache in your gut as you hid from the light? Do you remember your raw and bloody heart struggling against the shackles of sin and inadequacy? Do you remember the dark loneliness as you resigned yourself to sleep in the proverbial bed you made?
Oh I do. Every single bit of it. Today I combed through yesterday’s despair just enough to remember how much I need Jesus.
To remember and relive this thrill of hope.
The pit–the cold dark– has serious drawbacks. But inside something breathtaking can happen. In soul darkness, in agonizing weariness, we can find our December. Discover our Christmas.
Ageless hope, bottomless grace, oceans of mercy all wrapped inside the swaddling innocence of a manger baby.
Oh how we might believe, for a time, the slippery lie that we are too far gone, too much to handle, too dirty to be touched, too plain, too unremarkable, too insignificant to matter…
But then nail scarred hands are lifting our chin. Oh the strange, steely resolve in His eyes! Determined Savior refusing to let His grace go unopened. Jesus fully acquainted with our sin. Carrying our confusion. Absorbing our weary efforts, deflated hopes and lost dreams.
Jesus rescuing us.
Bringing fresh hope. Loving us without strings. Without prerequisites. Without disclaimers. Forgiving without the sting of disappointment in His eyes.
He simply is not offended with us.
This is December coming.
For weary hearts, weary homes and a weary world.
Thrill of holy hope .
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9.6 New Living Translation)