At this time of year children are waiting with expectation, hoping that what they wrote down on their Christmas list will be under the tree on Christmas morning.
Dear Santa, Please give me a doll this year. I would like her to eat, walk, talk, and sing. Thank you, your friend, Suzie
Dear Santa, I would like one of everything from the boy’s section of the Sears catalog. I can’t wait for you to come. Love, Bobby
As we grow older, our hopes and dreams for Christmas mature, and we wish for peace on earth, good will to all people. We hope that all will be fed, and that violence will stop. We wish for love between friends and harmony within families.
Phillips Brooks, who composed the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” once wrote: “The coming of the Lord has been the inspiration of the Christian world. The power of any life lies in its expectancy.”
As long as we hope, there is the expectation that things will be different.
But when people lose all hope, there is despair and actions of violence.
The people of Jesus’ day longed for the Messiah. They expected he would be a powerful king who would come and save them from their desperate
lives under the rule of the Romans. But instead, God sent a humble servant in Jesus, who showed us that the way to create the kingdom of God on earth is to transform our lives from within. With the help of the Holy Spirit WE become the ones who will make the changes necessary to make a difference in the world.
Whose life will be transformed because the love of Jesus appears through
you in some act of compassion during these days of Advent? Let that be your most important gift this Christmas. WE are the ones we have been waiting for.
Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear!
Arise, Thou sun so longed for, over this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth’s redemption that sets your people free.