We feel carefully of the gifts left unopened. Deciding whether to steal the gift unwrapped by a friend or chance the remaining treasures. Contemplation amidst the laughter of friends. Sharing memories of Christmas parties past playing our annual game.
My friends, some close and others not as much, but all unafraid to be real, to be genuine with each other. Despite the situations, frustrations and heartaches many have faced the past year they are able to find laughter.
It’s their laughter that inspires me. Within their laughter I hear hope.
In their laughter I find Jesus.
The first Christmas brought us hope.
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel of the Lord said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 (NAS)
Among the ploys to buy the latest and supposedly greatest hope is easily lost. Instead of gratitude for the blessings God gives us we can easily center our thoughts on what we don’t have or what we have lost. But the hope that the angels brought to the shepherds can still be found.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived, saying, “Where is He who has born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him.” – Matthew 2:1-2 (NAS)
The Magi had to seek Jesus.
We have to seek if we want to find our hope.
But if we do, if we look, we will find it.
In the laughter of friends. It was there.
The hope of grace. The hope of love.
The hope of Christmas.