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A thrill of hope...

posted Dec 16, 2009, 10:29 AM by Dan Dunbar   [ updated Dec 17, 2009, 7:38 AM ]
I like those lyrics from "O Holy Night" my favorite Christmas carol: "A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!" For those of you who do not know me very well, allow me to confess that I am not an excitable person. I don't get giddy or effervesce with enthusiasm, except perhaps in my writing or when I am playing a role in a play that calls for me to be bubbly. I haven't been little-kid excited about Christmas for years, but this year I am, and I don't rightly know why.

I think that part of the reason is the Christmas music I've been hearing and singing in church. I have such great anticipation for the elementary Christmas play tonight and the GGCA band's offering songs. I have been hearing about what a blessing the singers and musicians have been in the nursing and retirement homes where they have been performing. I am so proud of our kids! I am pleased with Mrs. Janssen's and Mr. Smith's work with the GGCA students, and I am grateful to the elementary teachers for all the time they have given to help with the rehearsals. I am so pleased with our parents who have pitched in with homemade costumes. 

Another reason I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside is the outpouring of love through the Christmas shoeboxes for Ugandan orphans and the Christmas cards and cookies for our military personnel. The heart of God is so big that it can hold all of us and fill us all with so much Christmas love and joy that we overflow and pour it out into the lives of others. It gives me that thrill of hope the song speaks about and I want to sing! 

I have the privilege of standing out on the sidewalk each morning before school begins and opening the door for the kindergarten through third graders and their parents. I see the ones who skip across the parking lot with smiles beaming, the ones who practically fall out of their cars wiping the sleep out of their eyes, the ones who grin shyly and whisper a quiet hello, the ones with teeth missing who race to the door eager to see friends and absorb knowledge like thirsty sponges, and the ones who  shoulder their serious backpacks and stoically march to their classrooms like condemned prisoners. All of them make me smile and make me so glad I have a job where I can be a doorman for our heritage. These ones, too, fill me with that thrill of hope.

Greater Grace Christian Academy is a great school! I've been part of it for over thirty years now, beginning as an eighth grader in a very humble classroom in Maine. I love our school. I believe it saved my life by showing me who I really was and that I had value in the Body of Christ. I never would have learned that in the public school I had been attending. Hope. We should all be thrilled that we have a sure and certain hope in Christ Jesus. I am so glad that my hope does not hinge upon me and my ability or faithfulness, for I am not 100% sure and certain (maybe not even 1%)! That thrills me too.

I hope that you have something from the Lord this Christmas season that is producing a thrill of hope in your life too.