The Gift of Hope
By Companion Jack A. Holloway
Illustrous Associate Grand Chaplain, Grand Council of Florida
"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad." -Psalm 136:2-3
Psalm 126 is one of the 15 'Psalms of Ascent' which it is said the Jews sang or recited as they walked up to Jerusalem for the required celebrations of the year. It was a long uphill walk from anywhere and I am sure that as they came closer they became more joyful. In the final week leading up to Christmas, children (and many others) look forward in joyful anticipation to the big day. The feeling is contagious as we feel their excitement and remember previous Christmas seasons with family rituals, good meals, and of course gifts from Santa. As we get older, the excitement of Christmas presents seems to wane, but if we consider the truly great importance of the birth of Jesus Christ we would revive that spirit of the season, and the joyful expectation of the coming celebration would be contagious. We have received many Christmas gifts throughout our lives from many different people but I am sure we don't remember most of them. Very few gifts last forever, in fact, I can think of only one, and that gift Companions is worth being joyful about. The best gift we can ever receive is the gift of hope - the reason we celebrate Christmas - Christ.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the great gift of your Son who came to dwell among us. Help us to realize how wonderful the gifts of grace, hope, and salvation are so that our mouths will be filled with laughter and our tongues with shouts of joy. Amen.