Merry Day-before-the-day-before-the-night-before-Christmas, everyone!!
It’s gonna be a beautiful Christmas!
Tho’ there’s not going to be snow this year!
In the song about “…dreaming of a white Christmas”, Bing shares the wish at the end that “…all your Christmases be white”. Since 1884, we’ve only had twelve white Christmases in East Tennessee (and that even includes 1989 when we got 0.1 inch!) And this year ain’t gonna be one of ‘em!
So…if that’s your song…
Sometimes on Christmas, hearts wake up with huge expectations and go to bed with Christmas disappointments…
Remember not getting what you asked for?
Remember getting a gift you didn’t ask for?
Remember the puppy you asked for but didn’t get?
Remember getting the water-pik dental hygene system you didn’t ask for?
Remember the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of JFK you got when you were ten? (What ten year old wouldn’t want that?!)
Remember when Calvin sent in boxtops from his cereal Chocolate-Coated Sugar Bombs, waited six weeks for a beanie with a propeller on it and it wouldn’t fly? At all! Not even an inch off the ground!
Remember when you prayed for snow at Christmas?
Remember when you prayed everyone at home would get along from now on?
Remember when a young mom was going to be the mother of the Messiah and no one would believe her?
Or help her?
Maybe you won’t get what you wanted at Christmas. Or maybe what you wanted won’t be what you hoped it would be.
But unto us is born in the city of David, a Savior Who is Christ the Lord!!
He knows why it’s not going to snow on Monday when we wanted snow…and why His way’s best!
He knows that sometimes things we wish for at Christmas…or any other day…aren’t best for us…or even good for us…or what we really need right now…or ever.
He knows that He always knows and cares and gives us what is best when we need it…
And one day, we’ll have all we could ever dream of! And things so wonderful, we could never imagine them!
Having Him, we always have hope!
Having hope, you always have enough!
Hope is the most wonderful gift of all!
Once there was a young, tall, strong but broken-hearted pastor in Philadelphia. He dreamed of being used by God to do great things for Him. But during the Civil War, in a church full of young widows of soldiers and everyone wearing black for someone dead…
and finding that his dreams of ministry had vanished in the grind of trying to answer questions with no answer and walk countless hearts through seemingly endless sadness…
and finding that his greatest moment of fame and prominence would sadly, be preaching the funeral for the President who would have guided a wounded nation to healing…
This pastor had to get away!
Christmas. 1865. Jerusalem.
Pastor Phillips Brooks borrowed a horse on Christmas eve and rode the dangerous, robber-infested road to Bethlehem. Looking for he-wasn’t-sure-what…
“It was only about two hours when we came to the town, situated on an eastern ridge of a range of hills, surrounded by its terraced gardens…Before dark we rode out of town to the field where they say the shepherds saw the star. It is a fenced piece of ground with a cave in it… . . . Somewhere in those fields that we rode through, the shepherds must have been.
As we passed, the shepherds were still keeping watch over their flocks!”
Leaving the field, Brooks rode into the village of Bethlehem…
“I was standing in the old church in Bethlehem, close to the spot where Jesus was born, when the whole church was ringing hour after hour with the splendid hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voices I know well, telling each other of the Savior’s birth…”
Maybe he didn’t know exactly what he was looking for.
But he found what he needed to go on.
Because of Jesus, he found the greatest gift!
The gift he needed that helps you make it when you don’t get the gift you wanted!
Christmas. 1868. Philadelphia.
Remembering that night, he wrote this…
“O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie;
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light;
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in Thee tonight!”
Your fears meet your hopes in Him!
And hope wins!
Merry Christmas, everyone!