Christmas Greetings

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” sang a sweet voice across the expanse of snow. I sat slumped in my car, wrapped in fleece jacket and down coat, unsure of what to do next. Christmas was less than three weeks away, and although I was near “ready” in the secular sense, I could tell my spirit was ill at ease with… something.

Was it that frustrated conversation with a loved one yesterday? Was shrinking anticipation what tipped the scale? Retreating into myself I remembered that long-term solitude is not a foreign concept to me. It is a soft, safe cocoon, a place of rest and tranquility. What’s not to like? Yet, is this where I am to dwell? Cut off from those I love?

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” came the sweet voice across the snow. I had heard that voice before. It was familiar, full of joy, enthusiasm, and fun. It reminded me of days gone by, days spent with loved ones celebrating the holidays. Children exuberantly unwrapping gifts; the smell of hot apple cider, yams, turkey or ham wrapping everyone in a warm winter hug. Those special times of dwelling together. Would we enjoy those days once again? I have to believe so, for though this COVID thing has swept a trial of exile across the land, we are an undefeated people. We are creative, resilient, and, like the remnant of Israel in their exile years, we have a great God in Whom to place our faith. Like them, we have hope!

My ears perked up and my spirit stirred as I listened again to that “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Maybe, just maybe, there was a new message singing to me across the cold barren landscape of my dejected soul. Perhaps, instead of the jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!” wrapped in a red fleecy suit, this voice sang, “Hope! Hope! Hope!” – a new song for my spirit to sing. Yes! A new song, though not really new at all. It has been sung throughout the millennium, yet is new every day. “Hope! Hope! Hope!” the voice sang on, swirling the snow, lighting up the dreary landscape, lifting my shoulders once again. A smile began to creep across my face, and that warm winter hug cradled my heart. Just as it has for millions of hearts since that blessed first Christmas morn. “Hope! Hope! Hope!” I recognized it then… the voice. The angel’s voice! Hope sings on!

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