“A man without hope dies. That’s how we’re wired.”
Without Christ we have no hope. Everything fades, everything runs down and dies. Without Christ, humanity dances on the edge of the void, knowing all laws, loves, beauty, goodness, everything will be swallowed into nothingness when the universe runs down and dies. Without Christ, nothing has meaning. Everything, even the good things, holds an echo of eerie laughter with the joke on us, because everything we do fades and disappears into nothing.
But we have Emmanuel.
God with us.
The curse undone.
Death itself defeated.
Eternal life secured.
This is hope. This is a golden hope, like the thread the princess follows through the goblin caverns in MacDonald’s story; an unbreakable golden thread that leads us through the dark, through the light, and brings us home.
Christ came for you. Jesus became flesh to give you hope. If He had not come, we would be eternally lost. No man can be good enough to defeat the curse. But the God-Man… well, He isn’t tame, but He’s good. For years and years and years, mankind lived in a dusky hope, trusting God meant what He said when He promised a deliverer, a curse-defeater. But no one could fathom what it should look like. Everyone had ideas. No one guessed the awful, beautiful, jaw-dropping plot twist of Emmanuel.
So simple. So complicated. So exquisite. So terrifying. God with us. Not just a god, like the Greeks speak of, but the God. The holy, holy, holy One. Completely other, a being so apart from ours even after thousands of years we can’t really grasp what it means to be trinity, to be three in one; to be as God is. This is the One who came down, “pushed through the pain and blood into the arms of love,” and carried hope into our darkness.
Instead of the haunting laughter of a meaningless world, winding down to nothing, we have a golden thread weaving through everything in this world. All the universe sparks with light. Every leaf rustles with the story, the incredible truth we take for granted, that we dress up with turkeys and trees and presents every year.
Hope has come.
Hope is real.
Hope is a Person.
Remember why you celebrate this year. Take a moment to remember what we would be without Him. Then rejoice. Rejoice with all your heart, and all your soul, let your voice burst out in song! Jesus has come. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Heaven is open to us. The veil is rent in two. Emmanuel has come and our fingers brush His golden thread that leads us home, no matter where our feet take us. This hope is ours forever, and we will be more than conquerors in the end.
“God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy…”
 A paraphrase of C.S. Lewis, from his Narnia Chronicles. “And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” –The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis