For all of the talk about Christmas joy and peace, hope often gets tossed aside in a corner or completely overlooked. The fact is Christmas has hope written all over it. In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy and Linus were sitting in front of the television set when Lucy said to Linus, “Go get me a glass of water.”

Linus looked surprised, “Why should I do anything for you? You never do anything for me.”

“On your 75th birthday,” Lucy promised, “I’ll bake you a cake.”

Linus got up, headed to the kitchen, and said, “Life is more pleasant when you have something to look forward to.”

When Christ came into the world, He gave us hope: something to look forward to. No, He isn’t going to bake us a cake when we turn 75, but He promises us something even better. The Jews who recognized Jesus as the Messiah saw Him as the King who would overthrow the Romans. He offered something even better than that. How does eternal life sound to you? How about being part of the family of God? How about being able to ask God anything and know that He has heard your prayer? These were real benefits the people of Jesus’ day could look forward to. They are benefits we can look forward to today.

Someone said, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.” Do you have hope this Christmas? I’m not talking about hope that you will get everything on your Christmas list. I mean hope for the future; hope that God will see you through another year; hope that God will provide the perfect mate for you; hope that God will someday right all of the wrongs you have experienced; hope that God will be faithful to take care of you; hope that God will lead you in His perfect way and timing; hope of Heaven. My friend, your hopes are safe because Jesus Christ has come. He is the Hope of Christmas.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder