As I reflect on this Advent season, what stirs up hope within me is that God did not wait for our chaos, strife, worry, or bustle to cease before He enters into our world. Even in His birth, Jesus Christ enters into our chaos. Amidst travel, government expectations, relational confusion, and strife; there was no place for Him, even in an inn. Even still, Jesus enters in, a swaddled baby, mildly laid in a manger. Peace on Earth incarnate, surrounded by the poor, weak, and lowly in a cattle shed.

Angels bring good news of great joy. What is this great joy? Salvation. The good news of the gospel is that even though we didn’t make a place for him, Christ goes before us to prepare a home for us. A new Heaven and a new Earth, where the dwelling place of God will be with man, and we shall be His people. Jesus, God with us forever, will wipe away every tear from our eyes, death shall be no more, mourning and pain will have passed away. My daughter’s advent devotional puts it so simply: Jesus is coming to make all wrong things right, and all darkness light. What glorious hope Jesus’ birth brings to us, shalom to our chaos and an end to all our suffering.

What is your chaos right now? If this Christmas season stirs up grief for you, whether the death of a loved one, fractured relationships, or unmet expectations – fix your eyes on our Wonderful Counselor, who is making all things new. If this Christmas season stirs up anxiety and overwhelm for you at the never-ending to-do lists and busy schedules – fix your eyes on our Prince of Peace, who gives you peace that surpasses all understanding. If this Christmas season stirs up loneliness within you – fix your eyes on Jesus, our Immanuel, who is God with us. If this Christmas season provokes guilt and shame – fix your eyes on Jesus, Almighty God, who was born to give us second birth.

Let us rejoice in Jesus Christ, our hope and stay this Christmas.

Written by Ally Padilla