Trillia Newbell: Christmas hope

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, December 16th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Here’s WORLD Radio commentator Trillia Newbell on the hope that is Christmas.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: The Christmas season is upon us! For my kids, that means the anticipation of gifts. They begin making their list on December 26th—for the following year. They anticipate it and talk about it for months and months. 

As the excitement builds and builds, almost every year on Christmas morning at around 5:00 a.m. we hear the knock on the door. The wait is over and they are ready—no rest for the weary. It’s Christmas morning! 

They rush to the living room, we divide up the gifts, and they begin to open.

Each gift is met with various reactions—some more exciting than others. But one thing never fails to happen: After about an hour, they are off doing something completely not with the gifts they anticipated all year long. All that waiting, all that longing, just to move on to what they already have! 

That’s the nature of earthly gifts. Although generally wonderful, they aren’t satisfying. They end up breaking or not working at all. Maybe they are enjoyable for the moment, but after a while, our fickle hearts tend to want something else, something new. Earthly gifts often leave us wanting. 

There is, however, One gift that is satisfying. One gift that keeps on giving. One gift that will never disappoint, will sustain us, is always available to us. And the gift is not a thing; it’s a person—Jesus.

Isaiah prophesied about this gift: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). 

Isaiah prophesied of a baby who would save the world. This was a surprising and amazing announcement because it was coming to a rebellious people. 

That baby would grow into a man who would perfectly live on this earth, die on a cross for all who would believe, and defeat death.  

Jesus is our Emmanuel, which means God with us. And because we know this incarnate One, we can join the choir of angels in proclaiming this great gift. 

Ponder these words to the oft-sung Christmas hymn:

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the new-born King!

Peace on earth, and mercy mild,

God and sinners reconciled.”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,

Join the triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim,

“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the new-born King!

A baby wrapped up in mercy and grace is the greatest miracle and gift of Christmas. And we all need the hope that he brings. We need Jesus. 

In a broken world, no holiday season will be perfectly blissful. There will likely be at some point disappointment and discouragement. But because we have the greatest gift, we can rejoice. And that is why it can truly be a merry Christmas. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.

(Photo/Creative Commons, Flickr)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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