Romans 8:31 – If God is for us, who can be against us?

Calgary's Bob Edwards was a Western Canadian institution. He published the irreverent Calgary Eye Opener for twenty years. One of his pithy comments runs: "One can always tell when one is getting old and serious by the way the holidays seem to interfere with one's work." In the mad rush toward Christmas, too many people feel that way. Christmas seems to means adding another six dozen items to an already overflowing "to do" list.

Christmas is not supposed to mean more stress. God means for it to be a time of hope, joy, peace and love. Children know what Christmas is for. They know something is going on, and indeed, something is going on. It's our yearly reminder that God has come and walked the earth in human form. We are called to follow, walking Jesus' way, remembering He will return some day.

One of the best-loved Christmas story tellers was Charles Dickens. His comments on the holiday go far beyond Tiny Tim. Dickens knew the heart of Christmas is the coming of the Saviour, and that is for all of us, for we are all children of God. He also knew how good it is to be childlike — not childish — for he wrote, "For it is good to be children sometimes and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself."

That is the ultimate hope that all Christians have. Even in the smaller, day-by-day issues, the Holy Spirit is with us, giving hope and encouragement for whatever today may bring. In Paul's letter to the Romans, he's telling them God is saying to each believer, "I'm on your side."

For the Christian, hope is born anew each morning. The reason is that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Prayer: Lord, your incarnation means hope for all humankind. In this season of Advent, let us turn our eyes beyond the shopping mall crowds, up toward the Blessed Hope who is Christ Jesus. Lord, because You were born, we have hope; hope that stretches from each moment of each day to eternity. For this we give thanks. Amen.

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Bruce M. Dinsmore <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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