The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy, they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Isaiah 9:2-4
As I enjoy my cup of joe this morning on a day off, I can't help but think about the upcoming year. I find it interesting, to say the least, that the start of a new year on the calendar follows the birthday of our Savior. During the past few days I have spent time thinking about what it means to me to be a part of the family of Jesus. There are many words I could use to describe how I feel or to define my feelings. The one that stands out the most is: hope.
Having Jesus in my life and having faith in his saving grace gives me constant hope for the future. Hope is something that we all want, need and desire. Having hope in something and someone bigger than me relieves the pressure of me needing to be in control. Having hope in Jesus, as my Savior, relinquishes my need to be right, my need to know everything and it certainly relieves my stress of trying to control all things in my life. This faith in Jesus, the hope that it brings, also lifts my spirits and keeps me looking forward to what's possible in my life.
This looking forward, based on the birth of a child, coupled with the beginning of a new year, provides a season of hope and change. Not just lip service as a politician may use, but hope in something better for us and change in our spiritual awareness.
The prophet Isaiah so eloquently wrote that Jesus "shattered that yoke" that burdens us so that we could see an increase in our joy.
During this slow week between celebrations, connect with the Spirit of Christ in knowing that our burdens have been lifted so that we might have more joy. Joy to the world! May the Hope of Jesus Christ and all that he brings into our world inspire you to see what's possible for you in 2011.