Christmas Mantle decorating with meaning by Jenna Sveen

I wanted to hang above our mantel something that would remind us not just of the Christmas season, but something to carry into the new year. After reading through many Christmas hymns, I settled on O Little Town of Bethlehem. I love the imagery of the ending of the first verse that speaks about our hopes and fears colliding together the night Christ was born. For decades, the Israelites waited hoping for their savior to come and deliver them. They lived in continuous fear of what nation would be next to control them. Would the next nation make them slaves? Would the next ruler be kind or cruel to them? Similarly, we all have hopes in our lives that we cling to, that keep us forever moving one step at a time to the next thing. Sometimes these hopes are the only thing that get us out of bed in the morning. However, the hopes are often crushed or tempered because of the fears the hopes won't come true. We battle back and forth between succumbing to our fears and fighting for our hopes. One of the miraculous things God did when he sent his son to be born on Earth was to bring fulfillment of our hopes and relief from our fears at the same time. We can rest in knowing that it is in Christ's coming to Earth that our fears of death are no more and our hopes of life eternal are given. 

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