This past weekend, I found myself at the St. Louis Zoo with my friends exploring the Zoo lights. Which are exactly what it sounds like. Lights around the zoo. Anyways! I found myself in one of those ridiculously good moods – the kind where you just can’t help but skip/dance/sing out loud (and obtain odd looks from passerby). Why? Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year? Yes. Because I was surrounded by good friends? Yes. Because of the promise of a rowdy game of Spot It (have you played? So fun!)? Yes.
But the real reason was because my heart was just so full – full of the promise of Christmas, the promise of the Incarnation, but most importantly – the promise of the “thrill of hope”.
My favorite line, in any Christmas song (particularly when Michael Buble sings it) is “a thrill of hope – the weary world rejoices”.
A thrill of hope in the midst of a pile of work that doesn’t seem like it will ever. Get. Done.
A thrill of hope that brings critical peace in light of everything we hear about our country and world.
A thrill of hope which comforts the lonely, clothes the naked, and feeds the hungry.
A thrill of hope Who shows that God became man so that we may have life, and have it to the full.
The problem with Christmas – as our world promotes it – is that it is just a day on a calendar, a season in a store, an excuse to eat Christmas cookies for breakfast (did that today. Guilty). The reality of Christmas is that it is so much more than that.
The reality of Christmas is that between Christmas carols, cookies, and eggnog, we must rejoice.
Rejoice in the midst of the work, because it means that God intends for our work to bring Him glory.
Rejoice in the knowledge that despite the turmoil in our country and world, God became man so man may know that suffering has a place and that it was redeemed by the cross.
Rejoice in the chance to comfort the lonely, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry because it means that He allows us to share in His mission.
And rejoice in the knowledge that there is abundant life to be found in a life lived for Christ.
So although I won’t spend all my time in these coming days dancing while passing through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest and through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, I am trying to be a little bit more intentional about rejoicing – and thanking God for the promise of this thrill of hope.