The Hope of the World, The Light of the World

Christmas Eve.
The yearly tradition in my family is to get together with relatives; usually at an aunt’s house. Years past we have enjoyed the frightful weather, just like the song says. This year however, it fell like a hot July day. We’re in Texas so we experience the four seasons in a week :). Barely, just now, I’m starting to feel the cool breeze coming from the back door as the children run in and out of the house. 

I have already had my first sitting with a plate that consisted of fajitas, quesadillas and charro beans…I’ll do another sitting later, the tamales have been waiting ;).
Year after year is the same tradition: get together, eat and then open the presents at midnight. One thing that has changed, for me in particular, is that the excitement to wait to open presents has lessened more and more. Maybe because I’m getting older?? These little ones, the next generation, the nieces and nephews, are the ones who now wait eagerly, hoping to get what they have asked Santa for. 

With Molly on my lap (my aunt’s little chihuahua,) dressed in a cute little Christmas dress, I’m pondering on the question Pastor asked earlier at our Christmas Eve service: 

What is the basis of my hope this Christmas?

What has been the basis of my hope? 

As the year ends, I can assuredly say that it has been Jesus and I hope He will always be. 

Besides Christmas being a time of hope, joy, gladness and all of those things, for many it is also a time of sadness. Not having a loved one who was there last year or even a few months or days before, can bring such sorrow to one’s heart. Not having a special someone to share life with while seeing everyone else getting hitched may want to make one hide out in the season. Financial struggles might not let you enjoy these holidays. Unexpectedly things happen that change the course of our plans. Still, there is hope. 

Pastor mentioned that many people here in the States celebrate Christmas and do one particular thing, and that is to decorate their homes with lights. 

This is a great analogy to compare it to the hope that we have…that we all can have. Light symbolizes hope. 

Jesus said:

…I am the light of the world, whoever follows me, will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

What does this mean? 

With Jesus, though everything around us gets shaken, remaining in Him will keep us steady. 

Looking back this year, the most difficult thing that I had to go through was not only seeing my grandfather ill, decaying because of cancer, but also having to say goodbye. The day my mother called telling me that he was already gone, I cried remembering his pain. Following the hertz towards the cemetery I broke down even more. I oviously did not want him to go. Still, I had hope and still do. 

As every human does, I cried because he left this earth but my heart was at peace and joyful for two reasons. One, because he knew the Lord, I know he is now in heaven and in no more pain. And, the other, because I will be seeing him again one day. This is the hope I have. This is the hope Jesus gives me. 

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:1-6

This season, the verses above describe what I held on to when my grandfather passed. Feeling utterly helpless, He was there assuring me that my grandpa was going to be okay. Even, throughout the year, the times that felt very difficult, His love for me, His mercy and kindness made every little thing to be alright. 

So, this Christmas Eve, while all the kiddies here hope to get their favorite toys tonight, this continues to be the basis of my hope. 

The peace which surpasses all understanding. 

The hope that does not dissapoint. 

Jesus, The Light of the World.