Hope in a Christmas Card Photograph

The baby’s picture I hold in my hand makes me smile. Tucked in a Christmas card sent by a friend I’ve known more than twenty years, the photo is of her first grandson at three months of age. His grin is contagious, the hint of mischief forming his lips. His brown eyes study the camera as if he is already figuring out the strange contraption pointed at him isn’t attached to the cooing person behind it.

My friend signed her card with the usual wishes for Christmas and the New Year. But by sending the photo, she told me more about her life than if she’d penned an entire page. Here in this picture lay her heart. The center of her world has shifted. Her hopes and dreams for the future have taken on a new form—a wriggly baby boy. Capturing her love and stealing her focus, he represents tomorrows she might not have conceived before his arrival.

More than two thousand years ago, God sent hope and promise to a dying world, becoming one of us through His son Jesus Christ. In a manger filled with straw, He paved mankind’s avenue to eternity, entrusting the baby to a human mother and father. In that tiny life lay the secret to heaven.

He knew this child would grow to be a man—a leader who would challenge scoffers and confront hypocrites. Betrayed by one of his followers, that same man would carry a cross to Calvary and be crucified there. Three days later he would rise from death, and after being seen by more than five hundred witnesses, would ascend back to glory in heaven. Through all of this, God would watch.

Imagine the ache in the heart of our heavenly Father, His love divided between a world spiraling out of control and sacrificing His only Son. His loving gift meant people like you and I could be adopted as sons and daughters into His kingdom for all eternity.

“John 3:16 (NKJV) “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Merry Christmas.












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