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Christmas isn’t just about a baby being born, it’s a declaration that heaven hears.

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Read Jeremiah 23:5

Life can be difficult – that’s an understatement. We live in a broken world, and this means life will inevitably be impacted by sin and by the realization that things are not as they should be. Many people walk through seasons of loneliness and heartache. Others suffer great loss and hopelessness. Nevertheless, followers of Jesus are called to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). If you’ve walked through a difficult season, you know just how hard it is to be sorrowful while rejoicing. The confidence that heaven hears is the only thing that gives followers of Jesus the ability to rejoice and hope in the midst of a broken world.

The prophet Jeremiah pointed to a day when God would hear and respond to the longing of every human soul. He wrote, “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jeremiah 23:5). At Christmas, we celebrate that King Jesus has come and Scriptures declare that Jesus now reigns with justice, righteousness, and wisdom. On this journey of Advent, we’ve seen that God hears us in exile, in conflict with the enemy, and in our longing for eternity. God not only hears the deepest cries of our soul, he responds by sending his son – Emmanuel. Christmas isn’t just about a baby being born, it’s a declaration that heaven hears. Our greatest longing has encountered his greatest gift!

Now, even in the brokenness of the world, it’s safe to hope. Christmas reminds us our prayers don’t bounce off the doors of heaven, they pierce the heart of God. The immovable and unchanging One is moved by the longings of His creation. While God doesn’t answer every prayer in the way we hope he will, he does answer, and his answer is Jesus. His answer is to remind us we are loved by the Almighty. His answer is to declare that he is restoring all things. His answer is to embrace that he is with us. Because of Jesus, we can have peace in the midst of turmoil, hope in the midst of despair, and joy in the midst of sorrow. Truly, the hope and fears of all the years were met in him that night. It is safe to cry out. It is safe to rejoice. Emmanuel has come!

The Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem, declares, “Yet in thy dark streets shineth / The everlasting Light / The hopes and fears of all the years / Are met in thee tonight.” Rejoice because heaven hears. God has heard the hopes and fears and answered our greatest cry with his greatest gift – Jesus.

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By Ryan Paulson

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