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My cousin, sister, and I had a day dedicated to only doing Christmas things this past weekend. We got seasonal coffee, watched Christmas movies, listened to Christmas music, and drove around to look at lights. We are a Christmas family, and we have always celebrated it with lots of cheer and reminders of what the season is truly about. This year, things are back to a new kind of normal. Holiday gatherings may be resuming for some families after a break due to Covid, Christmas Eve services are back in person, and travel is back in full force. After 2020 and 2021, the true meaning of Christmas has maybe never been more clear. Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the Chosen One, the one who makes all things new. Though much of the past couple years have felt bleak and difficult and even scary, Jesus came to bring us hope that, though things are not all as they should be, one day they will be. There will be a day without pain, death, sickness, or sorrow. Because of Jesus and His birth, there is hope.

Isaiah 9:6-7 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

When I see Christmas lights come on each evening in my neighborhood or hear my favorite Christmas hymn “O Holy Night,” I am reminded of the hope and peace we have because of Jesus. What a beautiful gift the world received when the long-awaited Messiah was born! Without the hope of Jesus, we would not have hope for help to overcome, for strength, or for eternity.