The gifts are wrapped and under the lighted and beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg linger in the air from the cookies that are baked and ready for the taking in the colorful tins sitting on the counter. The season is filled with excitement and anticipation as the days get closer to December 25th.

Is this what your house looks like? Maybe. And, I genuinely hope it does. But, in my experience, the above scenario exists only on the seasonal greeting cards I open at this time of year. My house is decorated, this is true, and presents are mostly wrapped and under the tree, and when you enter my home you may even smell something yummy lingering in the air, but I am keenly aware of the pain that lingers as well; people who are no longer with us to share happy moments. I’m also well aware of those who are ill or homeless.

My words are not meant to bring you down, however; just the opposite. The hope that you and I have is not in the atmosphere we create with tinsel and glitter that leaves a mess in its’ aftermath. The Gift God gives you and me is tangible and everlasting. Jesus doesn’t bring hope, He IS our Hope! From the stable manger to the cross to the empty grave, Jesus IS. In our loneliness, illness, and sadness, Jesus IS. When this world falls short of keeping its’ promises, Jesus IS. Even if our houses look and smell beautiful, Jesus IS.

Unfailing love, covenant keeper of peace and compassion beyond measure, this is what Jesus IS. From everlasting to everlasting, Jesus IS.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!