Weekly Devotion for December 19, 2022
By Ebenezer Insor
Hope in Christmas
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him' (Matthew 2:1-2)
We just wrapped up our journey of Advent which began with hope. By common definition, we have come to understand hope to be a feeling of expectation and the desire of waiting for something to happen. Such has been the legacy which we have inherited from ancient to modern times. From generation to generation that hope has been manifested throughout history which has been celebrated beginning with the Advent season and climaxing in the Christmas story.
Beginning with the expectation through the years our circumstances have often led us to why, when and how this will become a reality. Along the way, there have been prophecies from the ancient times of God’s promise of a coming savior. This was the origin of the hope that brought anticipation through the years from generation to generation as to when it will happen.
The anticipation has been reflected in the life of the ancient Jews who had returned from exile and wondered what the future held and whether there was any hope. Then the Jews of the time of John the Baptist, who viewed the coming savior as their militant leader, to deliver them from the Roman domination and even thought that was John the Baptist. Also, there were those closely connected who experienced the encounters with angels to messages of how this will happen.
The mystery about this hope is the many lives it touched before it happened. Closer to home, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon and Anna will be connected in different ways, but what will that have to do with shepherds watching their flocks by night and far off in the east, the magi who were astrologists seeing a special star in the sky. Their curiosity about this star will draw them closer to the place of this happening, Bethlehem, where the savior will be born. Unlike the Jews whose history and heritage gave them some knowledge of this event of a lifetime. The magi like us were gentiles who had no ancestral connection and yet were led by the star to travel to Bethlehem to see the newborn savior of the world.
What a joy to the world this is! As depicted in stanza 3, of the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight. Through the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, all the hopes of humanity were met by God. It is through him that we can experience righteousness, justice and peace in the world. This is the heart of Christmas, which we celebrate singing joyously “Go tell It on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born.”
Prayer: May this season of Christmas bring you good tidings of great joy and peace, and the new year be a blessing with hope of providence, prosperity, good health and longevity. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.