Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”
Luke 2: 8-14 (NIV)

It has been quite a year.  

A blur to most of us to begin with.  The fastest on record, it seems.  

And then there were mountains to climb, valleys to cross, and oceans to navigate.  Causing a few nicks and scars, aches, and lingering pains.  

As the nation and world seemed bent on flipping itself upside down and walking away from even trying to be the best it can be and should be.

Leaving it hard to find and remember better times, when things seemed right, when peace showed up a bit more, and lingered longer. 

Heartaches, losses, disappointments, mistakes, wrong steps, falling way too short, and downright failures.  We remember them all and can’t seem to get past them.  

Feeling too often, all alone.  All by ourselves too long, and too many times.

Had to be a bit how the shepherds felt two thousand years ago. The outcasts of the day. Ordinary. Living on the outskirts of society. Socially despised and rejected, economically poor, hanging around the fringes of “who cares.”  

Their job of tending sheep assured them that they would always be filthy. And since they were never clean, or able to get properly cleaned up, they were not allowed by the “religious rules” of the day, to worship in the Temple.  

And God sent the Angel to them.  

With the long-awaited “Good News” of the promised Messiah. He sent the Angel to the shepherds tending watch over the sheep out in the field.

To tell them of the Hope which has been born in a manger for them and all the world.

Matthew West shares a message of the season, reminding us of that hope born in Bethlehem over two-thousand years ago, in his song “The Hope of Christmas.”  Here are a few verses he shares—  

Take me back to silent night. My heart was full and the world was right.
Because right now the world looks nothing like those innocent Decembers. 
For a moment we can hardly see the pain this year has brought us.
May the sick find healing’s touch, may hatred’s fight be won with love,
And may every heart make room for You, the One who came to save us.  
These days peace on Earth is hard to find, 
And I need You to remind me one more time.
You’re still the hope of Christmas, You’re still the Light when the world looks dark.
You’re still the hope of Christmas, and You’re still the hope of my heart.

Despite all that has occurred this past year—personally and around the nation and world—we are celebrating once again the most important moment in history when a Child, like no other, came into the world for you and for me.

For you and for me.  No matter where we are.

For you and for me.  No matter what we have done.

For you and for me.  No matter how far we feel we need to go.  

The Hope of all the world.  For you and for me.

The Hope of Christmas.  For you and for me.

Merry Christmas—now, and forever, and ever.           

In His Name—Scott 

Be blessed as you watch and listen to Matthew West sing his song “The Hope of Christmas.”