You know how at Christmas you get that merry chest feeling, when everything feels light and hopeful and free? Do you ever think – that's how we're supposed to feel?
The ideal world, the perfect plan, that everything was supposed to be light and we were only ever meant to be merry and hopefulness probably wouldn't have existed, because it only has to be here to counteract hopelessness, which I don't think was supposed to exist either.
Of course, who am I kidding, we live in a world fallen, condemning of everything, lacking light, merriment and hope, and some days we're covered in darkness and a moral compass that is skewed and Presidents who don't stand against racism and Dad's carrying their deceased children out of conflict zones and the world has forgotten what being free means and then in the midst of this, lies Christmas.
What are we supposed to do with it?
I offer no fancy explanation. So, I asked Jesus what he would say to those not yet knowing and also to those already knowing but needing a reminder. Some would say that I should have gone straight to the Bible for all the answers to the world's hopelessness. But I didn't want to. I wanted to hear it from him, because I too feel hopeless. So, I wrote it down.
"Can you tell them that hope is not lost, even though these are dark days. I see that you are pressed, devastated and bawling and screaming at the heavens, but you are not yet totally crushed. Tell them that I am their hopeful truth."
We exist in a funny place with war and suffering, like it's less of a reality and more of a bad dream we once had. I don't think that there's one simple answer, except Jesus - and he comes in many shapes and forms.
He comes in kindness. He comes in light. He comes in grace. He comes in hope. He comes in truth. It's what the world needs. Amidst all the horror and all the terror – he is a harbinger of light to what oftentimes feels like a darkening world.
Jesus (and not much else)
How much he must he love us and hurt for us, to wrap himself in infant flesh and live in the growing pains of being human, to walk in hopefulness with the intention of setting us free.
He came, the quintessence of merriment and light and hopeful truth as he hung on a tree that we both nailed him to, so that we might know and gain his likeness. Now that we know all these merry things, I am afraid that this season is more human and hopeful than we often remember.
Christmas is God's peace project. It ushers shalom and presences justice, and we have the outrageous and holy responsibility of propagating this merriment in a world ripe with consequence and fierce hopelessness.
Are there words, really? I don't know.
How much of who we are, is what they (hopeless and fallen) tell us we are? How much of what we do and feel and think is what they've (lacking light and merriment, but needing light and merriment) taught us? How big is our God that he undid it all with his son.
A man and a cross, not much hope (but coming hopefulness) and wrenching, stabbing pain on all his sides. I wonder if the spilt blood from those three days drips down, bleeding through history and time, redeeming and revealing and relieving and releasing and changing everything once again, each Christmas.
Something feels different now. The incarnation of merriment and hope (Jesus) changed the atmosphere of everything. Thank you for heeding the call on your life and leading us to Holy Ground.
I'm different now. It's a hopeful chest feeling.
Emily Black is passionate about writing and seeks to write raw, authentic, and timely pieces that disturb and comfort, engage justice and fundamentally empower. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne and actively desires to pursue a life of untainted freedom through Jesus Christ.