For many of us (or at least those in the Northern Hemisphere), the weeks leading up to Christmas can seem rather gloomy. It gets dark much earlier, the weather isn’t always ideal, and the rush that occurs from well before Thanksgiving until New Year’s can be rather manic. For some, the holiday season is something to be endured, not enjoyed.
Interestingly enough, many of the Scripture readings commonly used by churches in these weeks leading up to Christmas offer some type of message of hope in the face of darkness and despair. Here are just a few you might want to consider:
- Isiaiah 11:1-10
- Isaiah 40:1-11
- Baruch 5:1-9 (found in Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Bibles)
- Philippians 1:1-11
- Isaiah 35:1-10
- Isaiah 65:17-25
- Zephaniah 3:14-20
If circumstances get you down, don’t give up. God has always redeemed and cared for the people of God, and will continue to do so. Let’s look forward, with joy, to celebrating the birth of our Savior.
What has happened in your life this holiday season to give you hope?
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collect for the 4th Sunday of Advent)