“The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:12-13).
It has taken me a week to sit down and compose this blog. During this season, this Holy season as we celebrate the birth of Christ, we will get many emails, Christmas cards, and blog entries that are meant to inspire us, fill us with joy, love and peace. We will go to church more, sing Christmas carols and open packages filled with fun things. We will say Merry Christmas to those we know intimately and to perfect strangers. We will freely share the joy of the season with everyone. Isn't it funny how one holiday can do so many of the things God commands us to do daily?
If instead of saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone from loved ones to cashiers, we said, "Do you know my Christ in which CHRISTmas stands?" or instead of saying "Thank You" we said, "I am thankful FOR you my brother/sister in Christ", wouldn't we be one step closer to sharing our joy and love and fulfilling the Great Commission?
I recently had the amazing opportunity to see the Daraja Children's Choir of Africa, perform. These children were rescued from oppression, disease, illiteracy, famine, and so many unspeakable things. They were plucked out of these terrible circumstances by The 410 Bridge and given HOPE. The Hope of a new life, the hope of being clothed, fed and cared for. The hope of being loved beyond borders and the Hope of a new life with Christ Jesus.
As the music started they swayed back and forth, they clapped, they danced and then they began to sing. It was all I could do to keep the tears hidden. They sang of God's great love and mercy. They sang of peace and joy. They sang of victory from the grave. They shared memorized scripture verse and what each verse meant to them. But mostly, they shared the hope of a life in salvation. One little boy cried with every word he sang and you could feel his love and joy pouring out with each tear. Oh, that we should feel so much joy and freedom. Oh, that we should love without fear and share so freely. Oh, that we should give of ourselves 100% to perfect strangers without shame or embarrassment or inhibitions.
These children are overflowing with hope. They are a living example of sharing so freely the love Christ has for them and their ultimate salvation in His love.
My friends, we are called to do the same. I challenge you this busy season filled with gift lists, shopping, stress of finances, everyday frustrations, to overflow with the Hope and Love of this season. I challenge you to change your way of thinking and how you approach your every day.
I am grateful for those children. For they taught me a great lesson in humility and hope in every circumstance. I want to sing, dance, and shout out, overflowing with hope that My Jesus Loves Me and He loves You and through him we are all free to experience this most Holy Time, His time, His birth and through this our salvation is guaranteed.