Christmas Hope - Jos Euser

Jos Euser

As a child in Holland, my hope at Christmas was focused on Sinterklaas (from which we now have St Claus or Santa Claus) bringing goodies like candy and chocolate letters depending on how good I had been the past year. Santa Claus Day was December 5th with Christmas Day still being on the 25th were we all went to church in the morning and then spent the day with the local extended family. This process continued from year to year even through our immigration to Toronto, Ontario and then into our home in Goshen, NY. The thin gs I hoped for became more sophisticated but the results were all the same. Candy was soon eaten and toys were soon broken and/or forgotten. They never left a lasting joy or peace. But I did see and feel changes in my life. Instead of just wanting things for myself it was really nice to see how much joy it brought to others when I bought or did things for them. I really never gave much thought to the changing hope that was in me and what the focus of that hope really was. Hope had changed its look and seemed to get more complicated as I grew through my teens and early twenties. The material things that I bought for myself or received from others had left no lasting mark on me except that something else was at work inside me.

Things were not always easy and I went through my share of troubles, bad decisions, and heartaches. Hope was also starting to take a different form and shape. Looking back at my life now and reading the stories in the Old Testament of God’s people going through their conflicts, trials, wars, struggles, despair and hardships you start to realize that your life isn’t much different than what they or anyone else goes or went through. You wonder what it is all about and how do we get out of the mess we made for ourselves. The Old Testament had numerous prophets foretelling of a Messiah that would bring salvation, peace and joy that was real and lasting and but they had no clue of what that Messiah would look like. At that first Christmas, no one but some angels, shepards, and some wise men were the only ones that witnessed all those promises come true in the greatest gift of Love ever bestowed on mankind by God. Jesus fulfilled everything God had promised through the prophets. The miracle of His birth, His perfect life, the example He set for us on how to live, serve, and treat others followed by His submission to the Father as He paid for every sin ever done by me and all mankind has left me realizing that Jesus is the answer to real hope. This is what Christmas means to me. The hope of eternal life with Jesus. The same Jesus that was born that first Christmas morning. May we be reminded, always, of what that birth really means.

Romans 15:13: “May the God of all Hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”