I’m based in Berkshire, England, and we are in Tier 4 which essentially means that all of our plans for Christmas were cancelled on Saturday. I have cried tears, and so have my children. But, this Christmas is not without hope.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
This is a very familiar verse to many. In other translations, the words alter slightly and it reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NIV)
From my perspective, which I’m sure is shared widely, we have had one disaster after another this year. What then can we make of this verse that claims that the LORD plans good and not disaster. I’ve asked myself that question a lot over the years. I’m not sure I’ve settled on a answer. But, what I do believe wholeheartedly is that we have both a hope and a future found in Jesus. Jesus is the reason that we have Christmas, isn’t it? His birth, life, death, and resurrection give us a hope and a future.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:25 (NIV) This is the hope we have in Jesus. This is the future that is available freely to us and that future starts now.
We have the first ‘Christmas star’ in 800 years this evening – when Jupiter and Saturn line up in the sky. I’m hoping that the sky clears sufficiently for us to be able to see it.
However, whether I see the star or not, and during this Christmastime, along with every other day, I can rejoice and worship Jesus – for the hope and future he has given us – just as the wise people did at the time of His birth:
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV)
I pray you find some level of peace and comfort over the Christmas period, even if your plans have had to be changed. I also pray for you as you reflect on what has likely been a very challenging and painful year.