September 22nd, 2022
I recently read a story of a man lost at sea. He left for a short ride off the coast of Florida but didn’t return. He fell asleep on the boat and was startled awake by water rushing into the front cabin.
Two days later, he was found clinging to the side of his capsized boat, 86 miles off the coast. He saw a large ship in the distance and began frantically waving his shirt, hoping they would somehow see him. Thankfully, they did.
This amazing rescue story reminded me of the Christmas story. The old Christmas anthem, O Holy Night, describes the birth Jesus as “a thrill of hope.” I love the word “thrill” here. This wasn’t just a sigh of relief or a calm happiness. The birth of Jesus brought thrill, it brought excitement, it brought hope. It brought hope to a “weary world,” a world that had no rescue in sight.
Imagine waking up in a flooded boat with no land in sight. There’s no way out. I can only imagine the terror of that realization: I’m only getting home if someone miraculously shows up. But then, in the distance, you see your chance. I don’t picture this man gently tossing his shirt in the air. I imagine he waved it frantically, doing everything he could to get their attention. I imagine his attitude shifted from defeat to possibility. His adrenaline began to rush, excitement and desperation rising in his throat.
He saw hope. He saw a way out. He saw a saving grace.
That’s what we gained the night Jesus was born. Praise God that He sent His son to show up for us! We are called to rejoice, to sing, to praise because the birth of Jesus is a reason to celebrate! Because God sent His son, we have a way to be at peace with God, we have a rescuer. We have a lighthouse in the midst of our dark world.
This Christmas season, and as we go into the new year, praise God for the hope that was born in that manger, the only hope we’ve ever had. Hope isn’t a quiet emotion. Hope is what pushes us to keep going, to not give up, to believe. Our hope in Jesus pushes us to believe in our faithful, loving God. This season, let’s celebrate the thrill of hope
Inspirational Image of the Day