Devotional by Stephen Estock

December 2, 2013

What do you hope to get for Christmas?

That question (or something like it) is asked frequently at this time of year. Christmas is a season of hope, but often our hope is centered only on the “stuff” of Christmas. The excitement and joy getting what you hoped for is often intense, but unfortunately also short-lived. The “blessing” lasts for only a moment. As a child, and later as a parent, I remember the emotional letdown when the gifts are opened and the fervor of the morning has passed.

God’s purpose in Christmas is so much more.

In Titus 2:13, Paul writes about a “blessed hope.” This is a hope that goes beyond mundane wish fulfillment that we see at this time of year. Instead, it is the goal to which God is bringing his people. God’s desire is to restore his creation to a pure state that will never end. Desires will be purified and completely fulfilled; pain will be gone; disappointment will vanish; there will be no letdown.

That hope is tied to “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” In this text, Paul refers to the Second Coming of Christ. Yet, the glory of the Second Advent is based on the veiled glory of the First Advent when the Son of God was born in a manger. Christ came in humility to be the ransom required for redemption. But, humility is only part of the picture of Christ; he must also come in glory. When he comes in glory, the restoration will be complete. Our blessed hope will be realized

As you prepare for Christmas, let the hope you feel in the season lead you to rest in the hope God secures in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.