A Christmas Lesson of Hope

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

This past Sunday served as the second Sunday of Advent. As the Advent candle illuminated the sanctuary, our pastor spoke on the hope of the season. Likewise, the theme for this second week in my series on Christmas, we will look at how hope played a role in the Christmas story.

Hopefulness in the Christmas Story
The Angels annouce the birth of the Newborn King

But, before we look at people in the story of Jesus’ birth, let’s step back a moment and look at the Old Testament. From Adam and Eve until the time of Jesus’ birth, the entire world waited with bated breath on the hope of a Savior. The first sign of this hope appears in Genesis 3:15And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” This verse foreshadows that He (Jesus) will strike your head. Moses, David, Joseph, Jeremiah, and Isaiah all waited for the Messiah, but none lived to see the hope fulfilled with His birth in Bethlehem. For this present generation, we know the story of the birth of our King, and now our hope is on His return to take us home with Him.

Since time began, the world has waited with bated breath for their Savior. Click To Tweet

The people of the story

Now, let’s look at some of the people in Christmas story. Zachariah and Elizabeth are mentioned early in Luke. Elizabeth is Mary’s cousin. When Mary receives the news from the Angel Gabriel, Mary heads off to visit with Elizabeth. Mary knows in her heart that Elizabeth will believe her story because of Zachariah and Elizabeth’s faith in the coming Messiah. Elizabeth’s reaction to Mary’s arrival displays the hope of promises fulfilled.

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45 NIV.

Christmas ornaments help us celebrate the hope of Christ

Mary and Joseph are another example of hope. They hoped in the miracle of the baby Jesus. They trusted God from the announcement to the birth and beyond. With only meager means of support, their hope rested entirely on God providing for them. God did not fail to provide for them either. The Inn Keeper provided a stable when everywhere else had no room for the young couple. The gifts from the Magi provided support for the early years of Jesus’ life and allowed them to flee to Egypt to avoid King Herod’s rage against the prophecy fulfilled.

 Jesus still offers us hope as we await His second coming. Click To Tweet

The shepherds also displayed hope when they left their sheep behind to go and worship the newborn king after the announcement by the choir of angels. Shepherds would never leave their sheep unattended; they would give their lives rather than lose one. But, on that Holy Night, they put their hope in God for their livelihood to go and seek their Savior. Though the sheep don’t get mentioned in the Bible, I feel sure the Heavenly Shepherd kept them all safe that night.

There is hope for each of us

We also see that many of the Christmas carols sing of the hope of Christmas. One of my favorite hymns is O Holy Night by Adolphe Adam. A weary world waited in anticipation for the miracle of Christmas to restore its hope. And, Jesus still offers us hope as we await His second coming.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. Click To Tweet


Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Additional Resources:

Signs of Hope in the Christmas Story

O Holy Night 

The Biblical Story of Christmas

Resources for help at Christmas

32 thoughts on “A Christmas Lesson of Hope

  1. Yvonne, what a timely message! Just to read about the hope of God’s people in the past, reminds me of the hope I carry within me through Jesus Christ! Thank you for renewing my mind in this Hope of all Hope! Blessings to you this Advent season!

  2. Placing my hope in Him is my reason for living. Hope gives me strength to endure whatever comes my way. Oh, Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I never ceases to touch my heart.

  3. The words, “the weary world rejoices” strikes a chord with me (pun unintended, but accepted 😉 )
    Thanks for pointing out how so many of the people in the story responded with hope. I’m overwhelmed with this whole new ministry to the foster kids thing.. weary, and a little hesitant in hope – but I think hoping in Christ would be a more holy response.

    1. Yvonne

      Hang in there Christina. Hoping in Christ is the best response. Ministry is hard and requires us to fully rely on Christ like never before but so worth it in the end. Watching Him make a difference for even one child through you makes all the struggles worthwhile

  4. Jessica Brodie

    You are SO right – there is hope for all of us (and many great examples in the Christmas story for inspiration and encouragement). Thanks for your post – I needed it today!

  5. Thanks, Yvonne, for this post on Advent. I love Advent now because as family we now focus on Jesus’ Second Coming. It helps me to enjoy the season so much more because of it. And I reflect on the FIrst Coming, too, and how the peope of Israel hoped for the coming Messiash. They waited for thousands of years. Sadly, many of them missed it because of certain unmet expectations. I wonder if that is the same for us, too, in some ways? We may miss the moments of Holiness simply becaue we are not open to how God moves, or what it may look like. My prayer is that we all remain soft in heart towards God to be able to see those God-moments, in whatever form they may come.

  6. Love it, Yvonne. You said several new and fresh things in this post. But, in particular, I never thought about how the shepherds in the Christmas story left their sheep to worship the newborn Savior. And that’s right, shepherds just didn’t do that.

    I’m so grateful for real hope in the Savior.

  7. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we are in a similar state of hope as those in the Bible waiting for their Savior. We are waiting for Christ’s second coming. And the truth of His first coming is a beautiful reminder that our God is faithful!

  8. Hi Yvonne. Hope is one of the greatest gifts we consider during this season. It’s such a blessing. It gives us purpose and promise because it represents what will surely come to pass. Thank your for pointing us to hope.

  9. Your post depicts that God looks after the hope He brings us. I couldn’t help but think of the scripture in Jeremiah 1:12, “The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” I know that this passage is speaking about God’s plans, but then again, could it be that it is also talking about The Word – His Son, Jesus? I think so. Truly, God watched over Jesus, saving Him from Herod so that He could fulfill the mission His Father gave him – to bring hope, peace, and unity between us and Him. Wonderful post, Yvonne! 🙂

  10. I’ve never thought about how much hope Mary and Joseph must have had. You’re so right. They must have trusted in God a lot to have believed that what was happening was not only ok but his will. It would have brought a ton of hope to them in a very trying time, being unmarried and pregnant. Hope in the midst of scandal. That took amazing faith on their part.

  11. Thanks be to God that through Jesus’ incarnation, his sinless life, his death, burial, and resurrection, he crushed the head of the serpent, the evil one who appeared in the Garden, Satan, the dragon of Revelation. Satan is a defeated foe, though he continues to attack in his weakened state. Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection destroyed the power of sin and of darkness. Now we await his glorious return to make all things new again. In this we put our hope. This is the hope of the ages. We have cause for hope indeed! Thanks for turning our thoughts toward hope today, Yvonne!

  12. Pingback: Now What? - Turning Mountains into Molehills

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