The Magic Of Christmas

The Thrill of Hope” 


Is there anyone more expectant than a child at Christmastime? Pinterest is full of DIY calendars to help answer the eternal question, “How many days until Christmas?” Children are expectant, or hopeful, that their desires will be fulfilled and that a new dollhouse or game system will appear under the tree. 

They spend hours fiddling with wrapped gifts, desperately trying to decipher what each one contains. Then Christmas Eve comes and the anticipation is more than their little hearts can handle. They lie awake all night, waiting for the sliver of a sunrise to pounce on their parents and declare that it is finally Christmas! 

Imagine living in the days leading up to Jesus’ birth. Political darkness reigned in the region; oppression and hopelessness were commonplace. God had promised that he would send a Savior one day. After centuries passing with this promise hanging over them, you can imagine that many people lost hope. Many even stopped believing. 

Those that still believed were looking toward an event that would reshape humanity—an event that many assumed would come through the powerful hand of a great conqueror, through the deliverance of a nation by a mighty king who would rescue them from oppression and slavery. Instead, what they received was the birth of a child from a scared young woman in an unbelievable scenario. Their Christmas (Savior) story was not what they expected it to be. 

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14 

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:11 

The birth of Jesus represents a promise fulfilled. The world around us may seem dark, and it may seem like our prayers are met with silence, but there is always cause for hope. He fulfills his promises. What would our days look like if we lived expectantly about what God is capable of doing? May this Advent season represent a time of anticipation for the wonderful things God has in store for us. His promises never fail! 

Shana Hamrick 
Weekday

Scripture Reference:Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.7.14.KJV

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.2.11.KJV

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The Magic Of Christmas

“The Magic of the Mosaic” 


When I was growing up, my siblings and I had a quiet competition to see who could wow Mom and Dad with the most original gift on Christmas morning. One year, the framed picture of our parents as high school sweethearts with their names engraved had practically “won Christmas.” The next year, in an attempt to create a magical moment for my mother on Christmas morning, I gathered all of her favorite T-shirts, including my dad’s old high school football jersey, dusted off the sewing machine, and created a quilt full of memories and sentimentality. 

The marvelously woven quilt told a story with seemingly unrelated events collectively pieced together into a more magnificent story. The T-shirt fragments came together. Mom’s Christmas would be magical. Winning Christmas was in the bag. 

King David knew about crafting things together to show his love. He may not have been motivated by sibling rivalry, but the King of Israel desired to build a temple to honor the God he loved. The shepherd boy turned king longed for a place where the Spirit of God could dwell; he longed to bring the presence of the Lord near. 

But God had another plan to draw near to his people. 

He was weaving together a legacy that could not be contained in a building. The mosaic of God’s story was coming together in a way that was beyond David’s wildest dreams. And God would use David’s family to accomplish his purposes. 

He will reign on David’s throne
 and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it
 with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:7 

From the lineage of David, God was sending a Savior and his name would be Jesus. Like David, he would be known as a shepherd and a king, but this king would be unlike any king Israel had ever seen. He would not reside in a temple but would be the fulfillment of a promise. He would be our Immanuel—God with us. 

Holly Goddard 
Waumba Land

Scripture Reference:

Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah 9:17 KJV

https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.9.17.KJV