HOPE "A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable". It goes on to define it as "confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God's gracious promises".

 

 

Back to my Noah Webster 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language this week, I was not disappointed.  The definition of hope, noted above, captures the heart and soul that propels us through the good and the tough of times.  It is the encouragement for tomorrow.

 

What started out as just another weekly story regarding 'Joy' a couple of weeks past has transcended into a trilogy of Joy, Peace and Hope with hope landing on Christmas Day.

 

My mind has been on the old hymns these past few weeks (I'm well).  I'll admit I'm more of a contemporary song person (if you call Hill music and bluegrass contemporary).  I was not raised in the era of the hymns (ok, kind of, but clearly in the waning shadows).  As we have had the opportunity to sing a few of the old favorites I was taken by the depth of each words meaning and the heartfelt and ageless message of hope.

 

This is our hope to you, a Merry Christmas,

and to your family and friends.

 

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O HOLY NIGHT

 

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

O night, O holy night, O night divine!

O night, O holy night, O night divine!

 

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,

Now come the wise men from out of the Orient land.

The Kink of kings lay thus lowly manager;

In all our trials born to be our friends.

He know our need, our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Behold you King! Before him lowly bend!

 

Truly He taught us to love one another,

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord!  Then ever, ever praise we,

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

His power and glory ever more proclaim!

 

- Adolphe Adam, 1847

 

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