Christmas - Hope - Day 7

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, help us to examine this Scripture about hope and draw from it the lesson you want us to apply.  In Your name, amen.

Read: Romans 15:12-13

 “And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Reflect: 

What a great Scripture this is to end our focus on the gift of Hope.  I remember when I was growing up I had a real sense of anticipation, wonder and excitement about Christmas.  My parents, particularly my Mom, made it a very special time for us.  We were poor (although I didn’t realize it at the time.) but my mother and father always got us one thing, that was special to us.  I remember one Christmas right after the WW2 was over my Dad found two used Tonka toy metal trucks which he refurbished for us.  My brother and I were so excited to see them when we got up on Christmas morning and saw them under the tree.  That truck is in my grandson’s care now.

 As we get older we manage to lose that sense of excitement and wonder because of all the pressures in our lives. We often feel a sadness because of family and friends who are no longer with us to celebrate the occasion.  It is easy to fall into the pity party time and focus on ourselves, which is deadly to remembering the real purpose of the Christmas season.

 Today’s Scripture brings us back to the reason for the season.  The Root of Jesse has arisen to rule over the nations.  As a result, God will fill us with hope, peace and joy.  We have a reason to celebrate and our hope comes because not only do we have The Holy Spirit guiding us today but we also have the excitement and anticipation of the Lord’s return.  As Revelation 22:20 states “Come Lord Jesus.”

 

Apply:  

Think about how we can capture the hope described in this Scripture and pass it on to others.  My wife and I have decided that we should not scramble around trying to find unneeded presents for each other.  We have decided to take advantage of the many opportunities available to us to provide gifts for those who really need something.  Each year Pathway offers the Heart to Heart program which provides a variety of ways to help families and others who have needs.  We are also exploring the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog.  The Salvation Army has the Angel Tree program that makes it possible to buy gifts for youngsters of a variety of ages.  They also have gift ideas for adults with special needs.  These are only a few ways you can bring the hope of Christmas into the lives of others.  We believe this is a good way to give hope to others during this Christmas season.  My heart is always uplifted after we have shopped for and dropped our gifts off. 

 

Closing Prayer: 

Our Lord, help us to see ways we can pass on the hope to others at this time of year. In Your name, amen.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity:

Make a Christmas treat for your teacher or neighbor.

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

Terry Schneider