My life is full of mountains and valleys, the beautiful and tragic, monotonous and adventurous; and no matter what the circumstance, I wander. I wander from the God who created and rescued me, I wander from justice, mercy and humility. I wander into sin and depravity. Yes, we are prone to wander and that is why Christmas is the perfect time to renew our hearts, to assess our lives, to ask the question, “where is my hope?”, because Christmas is about the one place true hope can be found: the Christ, our God, who became man to save us. We need to be reminded of that every hour of every day, but Christmas allows us to remember truth, mediate on it and ultimately to celebrate it. Unfortunately we have largely overshadowed a time that should bring inexpressible peace with a great deal of stress. Instead of rejoicing in the good news that our sins are forgiven and praising the God who loved us enough to save us; I’m stressed about wrapping gifts, arranging travel plans, lamenting over my lack of pinterest skills and wondering when I’ll find time to bake Christmas cookies and hang lights on our house. I’ve had to pour over the Christmas story repeatedly to write this series and I have been graciously reminded that none of that matters in itself. Traditions and family and gifts and decorations are all wonderful, but if I am so focused on those things that I’m stressed, I’ve completely missed the reason for them in the first place. Christ, the Savior is born. He was born, this event happened, it’s not just some story we talk about over egg nog, it is central to our history, and it determines our future. I forget that so quickly. May we take the time now to breathe, to take joy in wrapping our gifts, decorating, and seeing family and friends, because those things serve to remind us of our God and his great love.