"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
Sometimes we need a gentle reminder of the awesome gift we have been given through Christ. Recently, we were able to give each child in an entire elementary school a new Bible through the course of our ministry. We were invited to an assembly to surprise the students with this gift provided by some generous people in our community. I truly didn’t know what to expect; if I am honest, getting a new Bible is a lot like getting new brakes on my car. You know you need it because the old one is worn out, but it’s not like Christmas morning, either.
As we shared about the need for God’s Word in our lives to help us grow as Christians, these students were really getting into it. It was awesome to see kids hungry for the Word. As we were winding down, we got ready to hand out the Bibles and a quiet fell over the room as a volunteer was getting ready to announce the gift. She explained that not only were they getting a bible, but their name had been written inside because it was theirs. You would have thought she was Oprah saying “and you get a bible and you get a bible,” because the room absolutely erupted with excitement. You had kids screaming with joy, some with the hand over the mouth are you serious look, kids jumping up and down like they just got a new Xbox, and others fist pumping again and again. As I watched this unfold, I just sat back in awe of the pure joy that these kids had for receiving the gift of God’s Word.
During the Christmas season, how often do we rush past the most significant gift we were ever given in the precious birth of Christ? How often have we taken for granted the blessing of hope we have been given? As I watched these kids, I realized how blessed I am to have a God who loved me enough to send, in the form of a fragile baby, the Hope of my salvation. Advent is a time to express that great joy with others, to share the blessing that Christ has given with others. We have been given the gift of connection to God through the gift of Jesus. This is the beginning of the sacrificial journey of love that God deliberately and purposely chooses that we might have communion with Him. We should be filled with the same joy as those children getting the Word of God during this season. We may not always do it with fist bumps and joyous screams, but this is why Christmas matters and why we celebrate it with great joy.
~ Sándor Cheka