We live in a world desperate for hope. Yet at Christmas, people exchange their jaded pessimism for the child-like trust that things might get better. This carol anticipates the coming of Christmas with the words: “Hear them ring? Soon it will be Christmas day!”
Many people hope each year that Christmas will fix their problems, their disappointments, their mistakes.
They are only halfway there: Placing hope in the day delivers disappointment because there is nothing inherently magical about December 25. Christmas celebrates Jesus, and He is the only true hope.
Therein lies the secret to a secure hope: We must place it in something trustworthy. I know a guy who hoped that marriage would satisfy his loneliness; now he is married and lonely. Countless people have hoped in money to bring them happiness. Churches are filled with people hoping the sermon or worship service will make them feel better. When trying to steady our boat, we have only One anchor strong enough to cast as our hope. It is He that we celebrate this Christmas.
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).