Reading: Micah 4: 8-13
Reflection: Watch any cheesy Christmas movie, and you’ll be reminded that Christmas is the season of hope. Movie characters are able to overcome obstacles, receive needed help, and watch their dreams come true (cue the fake snowfall). What those movies either ignore or what viewers ignore is the waiting that can be involved with the hoping and praying process. Micah speaks of hope for the Israelites “…you will go to Babylon and there you will be rescued. The Lord will redeem you out of the hands of your enemies…” Yay!!! Finally the Jews who have been oppressed and enslaved much throughout history will get some relief! One little problem, a few verses later in our passage, Micah says “…But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan…” The Israelites had to wait for a LONG time. They were given hope, but also told they had to keep waiting. In Spanish the words “to wait” and “to hope” have the same root, esperar, with only context determining the difference. The words “hoping” and “waiting” are so intertwined that many times even in English they can be substituted for each other. Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites faced problem after problem and prayed for guidance or rescue. While they sometimes received speedy answers, frequently they had to wait and hope for their prayers to be answered.
This Christmas season as we remember the hope that birth of the Jesus brought to many people; consider how long before the birth that people were hoping and waiting. As you are frustrated when prayers seem to go unanswered, remember that God's plans are sometimes different from your plans and that many times messages of hope require some waiting. --Maria Kuba, Camp Mount Luther Summer Staff
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