Welcome, dear ones, to the 2020 Advent Devotionals. We are excited to bring these stories from our Horned Frog family to your inbox at the end of a long, strange, year. As always, you can find past devotionals on our website. In addition, it’s easy to sign up to receive devotionals on our website, too, so be sure and share with folks who might like to read along with you! If you no longer wish to be on our subscriber list, please respond to this message and simply write “unsubscribe.”
Our first Advent Devotional comes to us from Rev. Eddie Kahler. Rev. Kahler started serving the TCU Wesley Foundation as pastor/director this fall, and we are thrilled to have him here supporting our students. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour,
When God as man descended unto us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Saviour.
People, kneel down, await your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
(From “Midnight Christians,” by Placide Cappeau.
The poem for which the carol, “O Holy Night” is based.)
I’m tired of waiting.
Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve been looking forward to the day it will have passed. At first I thought, “Surely by mid-summer this will all be over.” Then summer turned to fall and fall has now turned to winter. My wife decided early on not to take my optimistic approach, but to instead plan on the virus sticking around indefinitely until told otherwise. She was determined not to get her hopes up.
I have resigned to her approach. Most of us have done the same in an effort to keep ourselves mentally ready for disappointment, prolongment, and exhaustion. We’ve convinced ourselves that the best way to protect our well-being is to not get our hopes up. Be tough. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t set yourself up to be hurt later when things don’t turn out the way you want them to.
It is too bad the season of Advent calls for hope anyway.
In the poem above, the writer declares that because of Christmas the “entire world thrills with hope,” solely because a savior has been given to us. God has torn open the heavens and come down in the person of Jesus (Isa 64). We all desperately long for this message and this Christmas we get to receive it once again.
As I think about how badly I desire the dumpster fire of 2020 to end, I realize that 2021 is not the thing for which I should get my hopes up. That too will bring disappointment. All the struggles of December 31, 2020 will still be there the next day. So how does one hope this Advent? We can place our hope in Christ, not in 2021.
“People, kneel down, await your deliverance. Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!”
God has come to us and done something about 2020. God has even done something about the mess that is our lives in the person of Jesus. The world thrilled with hope all those years ago and there is still reason to hope today. Christ redeems all, even 2020.
I encourage you to no longer set your expectations low on what God is doing. Be vulnerable enough to still have hope. God, after all, is with us. Here is the Redeemer!
Dear God, help us get our hopes up for receiving your gift this Christmas even in what has been a hopeless year.