Bonnie Alba
Hope above all others
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By Bonnie Alba
December 22, 2009

A glorious song of old came upon a midnight clear from angels above the Earth ...
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, from heaven's all-gracious King."

An old adage says Hope springs eternal in the human breast. To have hope is to hold high expectations or aspirations for things we desire to happen in our lives. Then there are those who put their hope in others such as our recent president; almost to the point of idolizing him.

"The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing."

In these uncertain times, Americans will celebrate Christmas, families will gather around the Christmas tree, excited children opening their gifts with smiles of delight. Many will attend church services to worship and remind themselves of the larger, historical picture. God's Word expresses hope differently. The biblical hope is one of belief and faith in God, who He is, what he has done and is going to do on Earth.

In biblical history, there was a period of 400 years, from Malachi to Matthew (between the Old Testament and the New Testament) when God and Heaven were silent. Silence on Earth. It was as if the angels were holding their collective breath in high expectation of what God was going to do.

During that period of time, God did not speak through his prophets. Neither did he inspire men to record his words. His people were on their own.

That historical silence speaks to us today. Yet there were still those in that time who lived in faithfulness to God. God bestowed His favor upon one godly family, two cousins. One was High Priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth who would bear God's witness, John the Baptist, to the coming of the King. The other was the young virgin, Mary, Elizabeth's cousin. To both Zechariah and Mary, God sent his angel Gabriel to set his eternal plan into action.

When Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her God's plan for her life, she did not question "Why me?" but asked "How will this be since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

She accepted saying "I am the Lord's servant. May it be as you have said." So it was, nine months later, Mary would bring into the world the Son of God.

"O ye beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow..."

While a dark cloud hangs over our nation's future, the people are surrounded by doom and gloom. Americans are fast abandoning the hopes and dreams they held for themselves, their children and future generations. In despair, they see America heading in the wrong direction.

Citizens are concerned about how bigger events may affect their personal lives. From day to day, they wonder Will I lose my job? How will I support my family? What if we can't make the mortgage payment or pay taxes? How did I get into this downward spiral of debt?

"O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains...
The blessed angels sing...
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing."

This Christmas seems dimmer for American hopes than the last 50 years. But there is One Hope a baby born over 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ.

So it was on one night in Bethlehem, foretold from prophets of old, God acted and Mary brought forth a baby unlike any other ever born. To whom did God choose to make this one-of-a-kind event known? Not to kings nor to the rich and powerful; not even to Jewish leaders and priests. No. God chose to announce the glorious birth to shepherds watching over their sheep outside of Bethlehem.

"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them ... suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"

Maybe this Christmas, despite all the hardships and pressures we are experiencing, we should search our minds, hearts and souls and discover the blessed and eternal Hope in whom we have rest and peace for eternity.

Be Still! Look Up! Hear the Angels Sing!

A Joyous Christmas to you all!

© Bonnie Alba

 

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Bonnie Alba

Bonnie Alba is a "politically incorrect" researcher-writer. Since 1995, her articles have appeared in California newspapers. Previously she served in various Department of Defense positions for over 16 years... (more)

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