Frank Sawatzky

One of my favourite Christmas carols is “O Holy Night”. The line, “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” sparks curiosity, wonder, and well… hope. But for some reason, it seems particularly hard to be hope-filled this year.

I don’t know about you, but when I look at the weary world around me, it seems that evil is prevailing. Yes, there are small victories all over the place, yet I can’t help but hear about and notice the suffering and injustice that is so evident. Hostility amongst family members, sickness, decay, and even loss of life. Job promotions suspended, cars breaking down, bills piling up; all while division, hardship, and frustration are on the rise.

The world cries out for a Saviour. For relief. For rescue. And it has for some time.

We read in Genesis 4 about the story of brothers, Cain and Abel, who each brought offerings to the Lord. God looked kindly upon Abel for his heart posture, but rebuked Cain, challenging him to do better. Enraged, Cain took the life of Abel. This tragedy points to Jesus in that, while Abel was a righteous man, his death was a result of sin. His blood was shed, and it cried out for vengeance. As we look to Christ, we see that He too was a righteous man. His life was taken, but His blood cries out for mercy and forgiveness. What’s more? His death conquers sin.

In Abel’s case, he brought his best gift and the Lord was blessed by it. In Jesus’ case, He was the perfect gift unto God for humanity. And in our case, we now only need to accept the gift that has already been given for us in Christ.

Let us then realize that in spite of our current weariness, this babe in a manger will be our offering. This helpless child will be our victorious, conquering king. No matter what you may be facing this Christmas season, bring your wounded heart and unfulfilled expectations to the cradle. Let your weariness turn into rejoicing as you reflect on the precious gift of a baby. The brokenness, hurt, pain, and suffering that you endure today has already been endured by our Lord; and He has overcome it. Our King, who would be slain, awaits. He is our Hope, our Light, and our Salvation.