December 23 Our Glory and Our Hope

Awesome things you will show us in your righteousness O God our salvation. O hope of all of the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away. Psalm 65:5 

It is too easy to get overwhelmed by all the things that aren't right in the world. Injustices in particular are difficult to swallow. The pain of my sister and her husband as they offer love and grace to their precious adopted children, one of them is fighting and doesn't want to be loved, friends wondering why the Lord hasn't filled their home with children yet, the suffering of the marginalized, the pain of those struggling to make it through each day, the homeless man at many of the corners of our city...  Without even realizing it I can easily carry the weight of the world on my shoulders so to speak, and I become burdened and sorrowful. This morning's passage reminds me afresh that God is our salvation and hope.

The Father sent his Son to a world that was aching much like today's world.

How does that change the way I view the world? How do I engage conversation with my neighbor and the woman at the checkout stand at the store? How do I love the woman who holds a sign asking for food for her children? To ignore it would be foolish and hardhearted. How do I keep a soft heart? We had our neighbors over for a Christmas party yesterday. We asked the Father to give us ways to share our faith in a natural and real way, by way of testimony and story, so that it wouldn't be viewed as preachy. My husband shared his favorite Christmas carol. Joy to the World, he said, and my favorite verse is "no more let thorns infest the ground". While we suffer the effects of the fall of man we can anticipate the hope that one day Christ will return again and make all things new. While we wait, he added, we can know that Christ coming at Christmas was to restore our relationship with God, our Creator and Father. A simple explanation of a carol led to opportunity to share the gospel in a simple way. Our neighbors nodded. Though they don't have a relationship with the Lord yet, they, too realize that the world is a scary place and sometimes life feels too sad and hopeless.

You shall not be afraid of any terror by night or of the arrows that flies by day. Psalm 91:4 What a hope that brings me as a daughter of the King. I can view things around me through a different lens. He is the hope of the world and without Him there is no hope. Christ came to restore our relationship with the Father and to draw us back into His embrace.

I'm thinking this morning about what it means to live in the world, but not to be part of it. Need to put on a different pair of glasses this morning in order to see it as the Lord sees it. The star above Bethlehem was the guiding point for the wisemen as they traveled from the east to see the Savior. Jesus is my guiding light in this scary and hard to navigate world. Lord, keep my eyes on You today. 

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