“Did you wash behind your ears and neck?” my grandmother always asked before she squeezed me and kissed me there. I’d have a moment of panic knowing I’d probably forgotten. Sometimes, it was because I was in a hurry or too tired or lazy. On occasion, it was a willful act of defiance because I didn’t want to come in from playing when all my friends were still outside enjoying themselves.
It never seemed like a big deal until we’d visit my grandmother. I knew she was going to brush back my hair and perhaps find dirt. If she did, she never mentioned it. She kissed every square inch until I was squirming from the ticklish sensation.
Her kisses filled me with the hope that there is a love greater than my hidden dirt.
God’s love is like that. He sees our rebelliousness, our hidden sins. Yet, He loves us anyway. Enough to leave heaven and become human so that we might understand the extent of His love.
Back around the time of Jesus’s birth, the Israelites were waiting and praying for someone to save them from the tyrannical Roman rulers. God offered something even better—hope. It came in the unexpected form of a baby with a supernatural love to save us from our sins.
Hope is knowing that this isn’t all there is.
There is more to life than this moment.
Hope is a savior born who didn’t just come to save the day but to save us for all time.
He washes us clean even the hidden dirt behind our ears and on the backs of our necks. He sets our eyes not on this world but on the one that is to come — one where we will have new bodies free of pain, where there are no tears, and where death has been vanquished.
That is our hope, born on Christmas day – not save from temporary troubles but to save us from our sins for all time and to give us eternity with Him. Hope is in the one who was, and is, and is to come because God is love (1 John 4:8).
“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12
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