To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the Heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Time.  It passes.  Sometimes quickly.  Sometimes not.  But this is so because often our hopes and expectations are entwined in time.  When we anticipate something special, time moves much too slowly.  But when something is ahead that we would rather not face, the hour comes too swiftly.  In truth time moves at its usual pace—whether we are ready for it or not.

For some, this Christmas will be a season long anticipated as loved ones reunite with those home from military service.  Or those who rejoice because they are given the gift of a clean bill of health.  Or those with new babies who will celebrate their first Christmas.  Indeed this will be a time of joy.

Others will meet this season with resistance and tears.  Loved ones who gathered together may no longer be alive.  There are loved ones who may not be together due to divorce or estrangement.  Relocations for jobs, homes made in new cities, military service, and missionary callings will make this Christmas less joyful than some would like.  Illness, economic strain, and various challenges life imposes, will make this time of Christmas one that may not want to be faced.  Oh, but Jesus.  Jesus is the reason for Christmas.  Jesus is the reason for hope.

Jesus came to give hope.  Not the hope that humans can conjure but hope that is spiritual, lasting, and complete.  Without Jesus one truly has no hope.  With Jesus, one does have hope, perhaps weak but it is Jesus Himself who keeps hope alive, not you, not me.  Jesus.

Whatever view you take of time this Christmas season, take time to be with Jesus.  Do not let the activities of the season overtake your time with Him.  Jesus is the peace-giver and the hope-giver.  Rest your days in Him this Advent and Christmas.  Raise your sights afresh on the One who keeps hope raised for a world in deep need of hope.  His love never fails.  His hope lives.  Let His love and hope wrap around you so that time does have worth.  So that He can make time count—no matter what.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the precious gift of hope that you give to us.  Your arrival in this world signifies a joining with us so that we would never be without You.  May hearts be filled with Your hope this season.  By faith, may all of life’s circumstances be entrusted to Your care and Your view.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.