Hope for our sad hearts at Christmas

“Christmas Time is Herel” was written and produced by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. Here are the lyrics, notice the last lines, italicized:

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here                                                                                                             Families drawing near                                                                                                         Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year

Christmas time has a unique way, unlike other times of the year, of pushing sad feelings to the surface. There are just as many reasons to be sad and cry at Christmas as there are reasons for joy and laughter. I think this is why:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”         Prov. 13:12

This is the way things are with everyone. Everyone wants hope and desire satisfied. But we all know the truth: we all live in a broken-down body in a broken-down world with broken dreams and crushed spirits. We are all longing for an existence, a real place and time, where the joy that Christmas promises will never again disappear. Christmas has a painful way of reminding us of ambushed hope. But the wise observation that Solomon gives is a sign-post that points to Christ. Hope in Christ does not take away the pain that we live with, but it does provide the soul with a joy that one day all the hopes that were deferred in this life will be satisfied in him. This is why scripture records angels, shepherds, Mary, Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist, the Wise Men, Simeon in the Temple – all rejoicing that the Christ has been born. There is so much sadness in the world that the hope of Jesus is the only “tree of life” to cling to. Finally, hope deferred no longer.

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