Nearly everyone, even those unchurched are familiar with Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth in his gospel. After the angel announced to the shepherds where to find this newly born Messiah, there appeared a multitude of angels praising God. Their praise? “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
So, how, during this busy season of the celebration of Jesus’ coming to earth, can we embrace hope in this offer of good will? Essentially, the very essence of hope is found here in this story in the gift of the Savior of the world to mankind. But some may ask: “Is this a new side of God? A softer, gentler side than the way He portrayed Himself in the Old Testament?”
I would offer that God was not behaving better here, but rather that He wanted to display Himself through the physical presence of His Son among men; literally Emmanuel-God with us. One commentary stated that the “greatness of God’s love here is best seen when compared with the misery, helplessness, and danger of mankind. The sufferings and death of Jesus (and the hope of the resurrection) will offer the eternal honor and happiness to which He will raise His people.” (Verse-By-Verse Bible Commentary/ studylight.org/ Luke 2)
For me the hope of the Christmas season and the celebration of the arrival of Jesus on planet earth is all about hope. Like the rest of mankind, I lay in the region and shadow of death. My life was not worth much as a child, but God jumped into my young life with the desire for Himself. Despite the misery of an unpleasant divorce, and the loneliness of being a latchkey child after the divorce, God led me to Himself. My first real encounter with the thought that Jesus loved me came when I was six at a vacation Bible school. Knowing that I was special to Jesus, knowing that He died to redeem me, and knowing that His resurrection guaranteed my future eternity gave peace and hope to my young life.
So, what about you? Have you embraced the hope that is found in the announcement of good will towards men? Do you see how valuable the gift of the Savior is to you? Are you able to turn away from your own efforts and turn toward the free gift of security and eternal life found in Jesus? Consider receiving hope this Christmas through receiving the gift of God’s Son.