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Hope: Christmas Is Hope Matthew 1:18-25

By J. Grant Swank
Some ask: What is Christmas?

Again it has come

To strum at our heartstrings,

To decorate home,

To drain us of pennies,

To dissipate strength

In running 'bout stores, shops,

Our nerves thus so spent.

But is all this Christmas?

Just boxes and bows,

Just tallying up lists long

Of names there in rows?

No, Christmas is more than

A present or two,

Some eggnog at dinner,

Choirs singing on cue.

For Christmas is God's tune

Hummed forth in a Son

Who's laid in a manger,

Hope's story begun.

Come hum that sweet song then,

It's written for you --

God's Hope in a cradle --

It's simple -- it's true,

The story of Christmas is that God has not given up on us

In the Garden of Eden, God talked with us, walked with us.

In the ark, God protected us.

In the temple, God sanctified us.

In the lion's den, God intervened for us.

In the fiery furnace, God stood with us.

In the preaching of the prophets, God sought to redeem us, to rescue us, to revive us.

In the Incarnation -- the Christmas story -- God gave the message that

He still believes in us -- He has not given up on us!

Indeed, He has such hope focus, that He came to earth as one of us

Imagine, the Creator of all things,

the One who made something out of nothing,

the Great Mind,

the One who brooded over the waters

who formed the animal kingdom

the vegetable kingdom

who molded humanity and breathed life into him...

Became One of us -- mortal, human, creature!

This our Hope, our Rejoicing, our Starting Point.

Where then has mankind gone wrong?

By forgetting Christmas!

By forgetting the message of God in the cry of a baby boy!

By starting with the human rather than beginning with God!

When we start with space travel rather than the One who made space, we get into trouble.

When we start with skyscrapers rather than the One who created the sky, we get into trouble.

When we start with computers rather than the Creator, we get into trouble.

When we start with ourselves rather than the Savior, we get into trouble.

But when we Become Wise Men,

following the star of holiness,

making our ways to Bethlehem,

bowing rather than bragging,

we find our Hope and we discover that God has Not given up on us.

Throughout the Old Testament, God sought to communicate His mind.

He tried to get across His Word through

Noah preaching atop a boat,

Moses stomping atop a mountain,

Samuel teaching atop the Israelite's clamor.

He tried to communicate through the

Psalms, Proverbs and

Wisdom of spiritually sensitive speakers in the marketplace.

He tried to throw up some dust with the evangelism

of the likes of John by the

Jordan and the mouthpieces who preceded him:

Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.

But...deaf ears all around,

busy limbs flailing here and there,

tongues wagging rather than being still.

Yet I still cannot give up, God said,

And so I will become one of them... walking with

them, talking with them,

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