2020 has been one of the most traumatic years in recent history. Our world has suffered terrible loss and upheaval that will take years to recover from. As we head into the week of Christmas, many of us are struggling to cling to the hope that it represents.

One of the best ways to experience the hope of Christmas all year long is to reflect on and expose ourselves to the love God has for us.

Last year, my wife and I started watching The Crown on Netflix, which is loosely based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II of England. Early into season one we discovered that Elizabeth’s uncle, King Edward VIII was originally the king of England before her dad was crowned, but he abdicated the throne so he could marry Wallis Simpson.

I won’t get into all the reasons why he had to give up being king to marry her, but can you imagine what that must have been like for England? Can you imagine the shock and scandal that caused? Can you imagine loving someone so much that you would give up all of that just to be with them?

That’s what Jesus did for you. Take a look at this passage:

“You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” – Psalm 92:4 (NLT)

In the pace of the holiday season and our everyday of our lives, it’s easy to forget how incredible it was for Jesus to give up Heaven so He could have a relationship with us. Just like King Edward sacrificed everything to be with Wallis Simpson, Christ sacrificed Heaven and his life to save and serve us.

If the Christmas narrative has lost some of its “wow” for you this season, I want to encourage you to go back through the Scriptures and read them with fresh eyes.

Try reading the story aloud or from a different translation. Take you time as you pour over the pages. Put yourself in the shoes of each person. Remember they’re not characters in a story – they’re people who actually lived, loved, learned, and lost so that we could move closer to Jesus. Reflecting on the sacrifice Christ made for you will help to renew your passion for Him.

To renew your hope IN God, reflect on the works OF God.

What can you do this week to make the Christmas story come alive for you and reflect on how God has worked in your life? Share your ideas below.

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