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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Dear Thames

Advent: December 25

In our culture, gifts are a huge part of Christmas day. Weeks (or months, if you are my mom) before December 25th dawns, many of us start planning to give gifts. We reference gift guides and attend holiday shopping events and spend our Thanksgiving nights focused on the contents of our online carts so we don’t miss those Black Friday sales. Or if you are my dad, you started your holiday shopping approximately yesterday. Regardless of your preparation style or lack thereof, many of us would say that gifts are a central part of this day and this season.

But what about the greatest gift?

The gift that gives us hope and meaning and joy and peace, when our world gives us anything but?

The gift that had been prophesied about for years? The gift that had been waited on? The gift that had been longed for? The gift we so desperately need, even on days as joyous as today?

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

To us a child is born. To us. From God. A gift, ready to receive.

Martin Luther said, “He does not simply say, Christ is born, but to you he is born. Neither does he say, I bring glad tidings, but to you I bring glad tidings of great joy. Furthermore, this joy was not to remain in Christ, but it shall be to all the people.”

There is no better gift than the hope Christ offers. And hope has surely come.

Hope came for Mary and Joseph. Hope came for Bethlehem. Hope came for Rahab and Tamar. Hope came for Elizabeth and Zechariah. Hope came for King David and Father Abraham. Hope came for the darkest corners of our earth and the darkest places in our souls. Hope came 2,000+ years ago in a mere stable, and hope is coming again.

Advent is a testament to the faithfulness of God, with so many stories of Him using unassuming people to accomplish His divine plans. And while it is a gift to look back and see this, the greatest gift is the hope of the second Advent. Jesus came, and He will come again.

Better days are ahead. We will be redeemed. And Christ will make all things new.

Today, as we pass around gifts, may we not miss the greatest gift we could ever receive: a thrill of hope that only our coming King could bring. Merry Christmas!

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