The Hopes and Fears of All the Years


It's a bit awkward to blog about a Christmas carol smack dab in the middle of summer, but I suppose this is actually a blog about hopes and fears and those never go out of season, am I right?

There is a line in "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that has always piqued my interest. It says, "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight." It's a beautiful line that I mull over year after year but last night, in the middle of writing something else, I think I finally grasped the meaning. Jesus meets our hopes and fears in the same way that a need is met - meaning, resolved. If we need $200 and someone provides for that need, we say "the need is met."

With this understanding in mind we could rephrase the lyric to read, "every hope and every fear that every heart has ever felt in every time and place in history finds its resolve in Jesus." That is quite a statement. It reminds me of 2 Corinthians 1:20

"For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory."

Hopes and fears are all tangled up, aren't they? It seems almost impossible to have one without the other. If hope is the thing with feathers then fear is the cage. We hope our fears will never come to be, we fear our hopes will never fly...But scripture teaches that every hope and every fear is resolved in Christ. Every eternal promise that echoes in our sin-scarred hearts comes true in and through Jesus.

This is good news. This is the good news that every person throughout all the years has been looking for.

Give your fear to Jesus.

Give your hope to Jesus.

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.

"in His name the Gentiles will hope."

Matthew 12:21

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