Read Psalm 146
Putting up Christmas lights by yourself isn’t very easy, and often it’s not very smart either. In the first week of December 2006 three men in northern Texas fell off ladders while decorating their houses. Two were paralyzed and the third died. They broke one of the first rules of using a ladder: always have someone there to help steady, the ladder. They forgot the second rule too: if you must climb the ladder yourself, make sure it is secured to the roof.
We tend to trust in our skills, our abilities, and our knowledge even our balance-more than we should. But asking someone to help who has no idea how to hold a ladder would be no better.
This week in church we light the third candle in the Advent wreath. Traditionally, and still in many churches today, that candle is a different color from the others. It is a reminder to turn our attention to Christ Jesus who is different from all other people. He is absolutely trustworthy and able to handle every single problem that could possibly come our way.
Are you hoping for a “perfect Christmas” this year? What are you counting on to make it perfect? Is it getting all the presents bought and wrapped? Is it getting every string of lights onto your house and then keeping them lit all through the holiday season? Will it be the perfect Christmas if you are able to get each member of your family to join you? Will it be perfect if everyone is healthy?
How often do our hopes and aspirations for Christmas-and for life itself-depend on our accomplishments or someone else coming through for us? How many times have you been disappointed at Christmas because you or somebody else has failed?
There is only one safe place to set our hope, and that is in the God who made the heavens and the earth. He alone has the power to do all we need. He is the God who became human and lived among us. He is the God who laid down His life on the cross and rose again in glory for us. He is the God who walks along with us and guides us to our heavenly home. Our hope is in Jesus Christ our only Savior, for whose sake our Heavenly Father stands at the end of life’s road with His arms widespread, waiting to welcome us into His heavenly Kingdom.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be our Lord and Savior. Forgive us for placing so much trust in ourselves or in others. Teach us to rely on Jesus Christ alone for He can never fail us. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.