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Listen while you read: "Lo How A Rose"1 (Lyrics)

Do you enjoy Christmas decorations and lights as much as I do? When I see the gentle snowflakes falling and accumulating on the branches and outdoor decor, I can't help but be thankful for such beauty! But, in reality, even though these sights are as lovely as they can be, I am aware that they are just surface decor. Nevertheless, I feel so joyful and uplifted when seeing such sights because they revive my awareness of hope in this world of so much darkness!

The reality is that underneath all the glitz of the season, the real hope began with the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Emmanuel, God becoming one of us to show us who He is — His nature and character.

Christmas is definitely important and worth celebrating and decorating, to spread joy and hope. But the birth of Emmanuel is not the finale. Without Christmas, there'd be no Easter! Without Christ's cross and resurrection, we'd all be lost in our sins — no hope! So, let's decorate to welcome and celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

I love to glean messages from a song by the Ball Brothers, entitled It's about the cross. They sing that it's not just about the manger, the angels, the shepherds, the star, or the wise men. The truth is that "It's about the cross; it's about my sin." The most stirring part after all these reminders is the key, which I remember my late husband singing with such conviction: "It's about how every drop of blood that flowed from Him, when it should have been me!" Our sure hope of salvation was expensive — it cost Christ His life! They sing, "The beginning of the story is wonderful and great but it's the ending that can save you and that's why we celebrate." That's real hope, not wishful thinking but a sure and certain hope.

May your Christmas season be bright with the light of Christ shining hope in your heart and life. As you admire the lights and decorations, I pray that they may be beautiful reminders that point to the true hope of Christmas, the Baby born to save us if we but accept His invitation.

Romans 12:12a – Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. (TPT)

Prayer: Our dear heavenly Father, we thank You for coming to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to rescue us. Thank You that the many lights that brighten our homes and streets can be beacons reminding us all that Christ is the light of the world. Help us, Lord, as we celebrate and decorate, to share the hope that we have in You. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

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Mary Lou Tompkins <>
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

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