There is a specific moment and experience that happens for me during our Christmas programs – and it’s occurred over the past few years, with each program. It’s the moment when we get ready to start the first song, and I sit at the piano – and watch Linus – the character created by Charles Shultz back in the 60’s, finally explain what Christmas is really all about. It’s actually one of the hardest parts for me to make it through without getting teary, as it’s such a simple reminder of where our focus needs to be. And this morning – we sing of that HOPE. The hope that was dreamed of and prophesied for thousands of years. The HOPE that rescued us from our sin, and punishment, and grief, and sorrow, and death – by coming in the form of a baby, and sleeping in a feeding trough. And the HOPE that reminds us that we are not home yet. That as we face grief, and sorrow, and pain, and the reality of our sin – we, in Christ, have been redeemed, and our Hope is coming back to reveal to us every bit of His glory, and to include us in the picture.
The music we used this morning is meant to guide our hearts in worship and adoration, not only for this Christmas season, but hopefully for months to come in the life of our church. I hope you find yourself engaging in learning our new music, singing along with the familiar, and being led to embrace the hope that is our reason for rejoicing.
My prayer is that this Christmas, whether you’re surrounded by joy, and peace, and happiness, or whether you’re facing trials, suffering, and depression, our focus can together be on the Hope that was coming, the hope that came, and the hope that’s coming back.