Kari Lee Fournier
Christmas is a time of hope, wonder
By Kari Lee Fournier
December 19, 2019

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."

These vivid lines from Clement Clarke Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" invoke the thrill and anticipation of Christmas like few other literary pieces of that nature.

Our minds conjure up a cozy fireplace hearth, with a huge, beautifully-decorated Christmas tree off to the side. And behind the tree, there is a large windowpane that looks out upon a dark-blue evening sky, replete with softly-falling flakes of snow.

We also envision a full moon illuminating snow-covered evergreens and the surrounding landscape, amidst an insulated silence throughout – the type of stillness that is only to be found after a freshly-fallen snow.

Yes, Christmas is coming, in all of its glory and wonder. And hope fills the air. And yet, what does this hope point to? What gift so stirs our hearts to this overwhelming degree?

Presents, although exciting, soon lose their luster. The holiday parties and delicious food are a plus, as well. But these, too, soon fade into obscurity.

So what actually is behind this feeling of eager and exciting anticipation? This sensation deep down inside that there is something so very glorious and peaceful that transcends all of the turmoil and evil on this earth that only seems to increase in intensity day by day?

Well, if we change 'Christmas is Coming!' to 'Christ is Coming!', then we begin to solve the mystery. Yes, Christ the Savior coming down to earth in human form causes great anticipation, and our hearts naturally await His coming. The Holy Bible teaches that we are born with a hole inside of us that can only be filled by Him. That is to say, a relationship with, and faith in, Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died for our sins – and then rose again.

And thus Jesus answers that yearning in our soul as nothing else can. And more importantly, the Bible assures us that Jesus also desires a relationship with us, as we see in His prayer to God the Father in John 17: 24: "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me;...."

Yes, we were created for a relationship with Jesus, with God. And our experience on earth is simply a sort of 'boot camp,' where we are being purified and made holy through life's trials and experiences – so that we can coexist with a holy God in eternity.

Of course, no matter how hard we try to become better people, we continue to be stained by sin. This is why Jesus took on human form: to bridge this gap of sin for us.

On the Cross, Jesus made things right between believers and their Creator, and we now anxiously await Jesus' second coming, as prophesied in the Bible. Experts in prophecy say that this event looks to be very soon, based upon events that are currently unfolding – all of which were predicted in the Bible.

These foretold events include an ever-increasing spiral downward in wickedness. And although the world does offer its moments of happiness, we do see that for the most part, it is getting uglier and uglier by the day.

Evil and vile acts abound, and our hearts grieve for a righteous hero to save the day – and also for someone to sort out the struggles in our own personal lives.

Christmas offers us a glimpse of a loving God who fits the bill as that champion, whose power and righteousness actually are infinitely above what any such superhuman could offer.

We also long for peace and security amidst the storms of life, and are drawn to things like peaceful, Heaven-like settings – imaginary places where there is no evil, just joy and tranquility. This is simply a natural, innate yearning for our permanent, everlasting home in Heaven, and Christmas provides that serene setting that we seek.

Indeed, Jesus, the 'Prince of Peace,' very much nurtures a sense of harmony among people, and also a quiet and calm atmosphere – all of this a mere peek into what God has in store for the believer in Heaven. Truly, our Lord's description of the beauty and sounds and dimensions that await us in this, our eternal home, are simply too vast for our minds to grasp.

Yet for now, we wait...eagerly, but patiently. And as we snuggle under the coverlet this wintry eve, we are content merely visualizing Mr. Moore's 'visions of sugar-plums' dancing in our heads. For now. Because we know that one day soon, we will be in the presence of Our Lord and Savior, with no more pain or evil or sorrow.

And this realization lets us burrow into the warmth of our inviting quilts extra deeply, drifting off into slumber with an insightful smile curling our lips – as we recall, ever-so-softly in our mind's eye, that blissfully-wonderful last proclamation in our well-recited Christmas poem:

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

© Kari Lee Fournier


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Kari Lee Fournier

Kari Lee Fournier is a Christian conservative freelance writer. Recently retired after 38 years with her City Water Utility, Kari likes to say that she's still in the water business – although her work now involves the 'Living Water,' represented by the Holy Spirit, which is freely given by Jesus Christ to those who believe that He is their Savior who died and rose again for their sins. In her writings, she primarily attempts to relay the message of the Holy Bible in a simple way, so that those who read her work can immediately apply the Bible's teachings to their own personal life's journeys and trials. Kari's columns have appeared in the Faith Perspectives section of Gannett Company newspapers throughout northeastern Wisconsin.

Contact Kari at wolfgang4234@hotmail.com.


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