“For You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5, NIV).
There are few moments that inspire as much hope and wonder as a child’s experience on Christmas morning. I fondly remember waking up before dawn one Christmas morning, smelling the aroma of my parents’ coffee brewing, eagerly waiting to run downstairs to the tree. My little 10-year-old heart was full of hope that under the twinkling lights would be a new bike … the kind adorned with sparkly streamers and a charming bell on the handle! This was the ultimate present of the day.
As we grow and mature, we come to understand that our hope is not found in the gifts under the tree or anything else material, but in the gift of Christ.
As a youth, Christmas often revolves around the anticipation of gifts under the tree. However, as we grow and mature, we come to understand that our hope is not found in the gifts under the tree or anything else material, but in the gift of Christ. His arrival ushered in a hope that extends to all mankind and assures us the confidence of eternity.
As we shepherd others through the joys and challenges of this season, may we consistently remind our families and our congregations to find their hope not in the temporary, hustle-and-bustle things of the season, but in the Lord.
And may we, as pastors and leaders, center our hearts and minds on the hope that has been with us since our youth, and will remain with us forever: Immanuel, God is with us. He has been unceasingly present with us, and His presence is truly the best present.
Prayer + reflection
- Reflect on moments throughout your life (“since my youth”) where you’ve experienced His presence. Take a moment to rest in those reflections.
- Pray for those you shepherd to truly understand the hope of this season in the midst of all the activities and busyness.
- Lift up those around the world who may be struggling with hopelessness, that they would experience the love of Jesus in this Christmas season.