December 1, 2002

Luke 1:46 – And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour." (NIV)

"Will Christmas come this year?" I remember asking my mother this question the year I turned nine. My father had had an accident earlier that year, and, for eight months, the family's only income was what God had provided through the generosity of family members and friends.

There was no promise of gifts, but it didn't stop me from hoping. I remember that Christmas Eve was a beautiful, cold, clear night, and, for a long time, I stood at the window and watched the stars in the sky. After some time, I noticed an extra large one, and I told my mother, "Mom, Christmas will come. I have seen the star!"

After supper, the family gathered in the living room. Dad played carols on his violin, and then my mother read the Christmas story. We didn't have very many gifts that year, but the close family times, the singing, and the love my parents shared were the most important gifts they could give, for they were sharing their spiritual values, teaching my brothers and me that our hope is in the Lord.

As we reflect on the reason for this season, may we share with each other, and with our families, the meaning of Isaiah's promise: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, during this time of preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth, guide us as we examine our lives in the light of your Word. Thank you for your gift of hope and for your promise to renew our strength. Amen.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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