The Gift of Hope
“And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” Romans 15:12
Read Romans 15:1-13
I have a love me/love me not relationship with rain. Like picking petals from a flower my feelings go something like; love the sound, pluck. Love getting my hair wet not, pluck. Love the blooming flowers, pluck. Love ruined outdoor plans not, pluck.
Despite the “love me nots” I get excited when I see the rain because I know that somewhere out there, even if I can’t see it, there is a beautiful rainbow decorating the sky!
Before I met Christ, I never considered how the rainbow came to be. I can still remember the first time I read the story of God’s covenant with Noah and the colorful symbol he placed in the sky to memorialize it. Noah and his family had endured 40 days of rain on an ark filled with every kind of animal the Lord had made. They were protected from the rain and flood while the rest of the sin-soaked world perished. When the rain had passed and the waters subsided, God placed a rainbow in the sky and said “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant for all generations to come.” God kept that promise all of these years. Now, the sight of a rainbow reminds me of God’s faithfulness. I love the rain because it brings the rainbow and no matter what I’m facing that day, I am reminded of God’s many promises to His children. His promise to love us. His promise to redeem us. His promise of the one who would fill us to overflowing with hope.
The fulfillment of that promise is why we celebrate every Christmas day! The Root of Jesse born in a humble manger to fulfill God’s promise and instill us with hope. We celebrate with confident expectation because hope tells us that life and all its struggles are temporary. Hope helps us to remember that God is in control. Hope points us to God’s good and perfect plan and reminds us that He is trustworthy and faithful. Hope makes the journey of life bearable.
In the rainbow we are reminded of God’s promises. In Jesus we find our hope. And it’s these things that we continue to celebrate each Christmas as we wait with hopeful expectation for Jesus to return.
Family Activity: Think of someone you know who might be sad, lonely or
having a hard time this Christmas and prepare a card and/or small treat
for them being sure to include a message of hope within.