This year will be my 53rd Christmas. One thing that has intrigued me for some years now is how certain words are used in Christmas sermons, on decorations, cards, signs and Christmas …
This year will be my 53rd Christmas. One thing that has intrigued me for some years now is how certain words are used in Christmas sermons, on decorations, cards, signs and Christmas cookies. These words are even lit up with colorful Christmas lights. What Christmas words am I talking about? They are Biblical words: joy, peace, hope and believe.
My curiosity about these words is wondering if people, celebrating Christmas, have ever considered the Biblical meaning of joy, peace, hope or believe? We have secular notions of what constitutes joy and peace. We are told to hope in all kinds of things. And many people seem to just “believe,” without thinking about what they are believing in. As we turn to the Bible, we find their ultimate meaning in the whole reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. That is Jesus Christ.
Christmas is remembering that Jesus Christ came to bring us joy, peace and hope. Peter 1:8 says it is “joy inexpressible.” Philippians 4:7 says he gives us “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Colossians 1:27 calls Christ in us, “the hope of glory.” This joy, peace and hope that is found in Jesus Christ is accessed not through our intellect, not through certain feelings or emotions, but rather through believing. This belief is in a person — the person of Jesus Christ himself. We believe that he did come to this earth to redeem us from our sins and reconcile us to God the Father. He accomplished this by dying on a cross and rising again. We show true faith in him by repenting of our sins, trusting and believing in what he did for us on the cross, and following him with our lives. Then, no matter what circumstances life brings, we have joy, peace and hope in the person of Jesus Christ. Let us as Christians remember, embrace and rejoice this Christmas season when we see these words.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
(Tim Morrow is the pastor of New Life Church in Powell.)