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The Thrill of Hope

This Christmas was a little different than the rest.

Last year, I was surrounded by family on Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, and celebrating the birth of our Savior and eating tamales and laughing uproariously at any and everything. Yes, I realize that for many of you, we were "breaking the rules". We were mindful. We were careful. If any one felt ill, they stayed home. Family mattered and we were not going to miss out on being together after being a part for the better half of the year. It was magnificent, so I was excited for Christmas to come around again this year.

This year was a more triumphant year. Lots of beautiful and momentous changes and discoveries and prayers answered.

However, life has a way of trying strangle hope and joy. Due to illness, our family was not able to all gather together this year. We each were tucked away in our own homes, relying on FaceTime, text message and having to scramble last minute to create a meaningful holiday together.

On the way home from dropping off my Christmas gift for my nephew, God shared this glorious rainbow. The reminder of a promise made to Noah after God flooded the earth.....and a reminder for us the meaning of Christmas.

The thrill of hope. The promise that had been kept. Jesus was born.

Covid and life's happenstances attempted to rob us of the joy that comes from this day. If this was the case for you, I am so sorry. It is okay to admit that this year was less than ideal and put a bit of a wrench in your holiday plans and traditions. However, I want to encourage you to remember....... it has nothing to do with Christmas presents, holiday parties, food or festivities.

It has everything to do with the promise God kept regarding bringing the Savior of the world in the most innocent form, a baby.

It is about faith. It is about hope. It is about love. It is about family.

Whether you were surrounded by a large group, or your gathering was just your immediate household, memories were created and the gift of Christmas was remembered and celebrated. We were exuberant and at peace. That faith resounded loudly when right now, the call to live in fear is the main soundtrack.

It was no accident that those rainbows appeared throughout the day.

As found in one of my favorite Christmas songs:

The thrill of hope

The weary world rejoices.

For yonder breaks

A new and glorious morn

-O Holy Night

The lot of us are tired, weary, ready for our seasons of hardship and (keeping it real) this fear of a virus to end.

God sent us all a reminder of the promise He kept all those years ago, as told in His Word and passed down from generation to generation, family to family.

Christ was born to save the world.

Hallelujah. Amen.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Tiffany Rhea

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