Tonight I stepped out on my front porch well after dark. This is the time of year when I love the cozy nights and the crisp winter air. I am not a big fan of hours of darkness, because then I feel like I am back in the days of being a new mommy who NEVER saw the inside of her eyelids.

But there is something to be said for the quiet and peace that comes with the enveloping darkness.

Here is the sight I saw.

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Yep, a bale of hay.

It recently was covered in pumpkins, mums, and our black cat. It was also a great place to perch on fall days with kids and neighbors who dropped by. But it is getting ready to be moved to the backyard for mulch and ground cover. It’s intended purpose on the porch is over.

I paused when I saw this, and was struck by the reality that this was the very bedding Jesus was laid in on that beautiful Christmas night. This hay, surrounded by animals, under a covered shelter, surrounded by darkness, and in the stillness.

But that hay held the very hope of mankind. That hay held something that never has lost or will lose its intended purpose.

The Son of God quietly, humbly, and almost secretly slipped onto our sin marred earth. He came because it was promised that He would come. Isaiah had prophesied it hundreds of years earlier.

“Therefore, the Lord himself with give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. (Isaiah 7:14)

When the time was right, God fulfilled this promise.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman…to redeem…”  (Galatians 4:4-5)      

The time was fulfilled. Up until the fulfillment, the promise was always “…there will be a Savior. There will be a rescuer…” 

This promise brought hope and it still does.

We spend a lot of our lives walking backwards. We live staring back at what God has done. While it is so vital to our faith to remember what God has done, His blessings, His grace, and His mercy, it is because of this that we can look forward.

God wants me-us- to do an about face and look forward.

What is He doing right now!? What can I anticipate He will do today, tomorrow, in my lifetime?

I can put my hope in Him, just like all those who prophesied His coming so long ago.

He will continue to redeem, rescue and restore. Forever.

Christ came unassuming into the world and was laid on hay that was meant to feed animals because of love.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is by Chris Tomlin called He Will Reign Forevermore.  He says

Here within a manger lies

The One who made the starry skies

This baby born for sacrifice

Christ, the Messiah!

Into our hopes, into our fears

The Savior of the world appears

The promise of eternal years

Christ, the Messiah!

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

How often do I truly remember that He reigns?  That He reigns forever?

When Christ entered the world, they were looking for him, expecting him, waiting for what seemed like forever.

He came into a drab world and brought hope and life and peace and more love than we can comprehend.

Wherever you are right now, let Him reign. He has before and He will forever!

 I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.  (Revelation 1:8)

Love ya!!

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