a reason to rejoice

Tonight as I sang Christmas carols with hundreds of people, I had a moment. One of those moments where you can just feel His nearness. Sense His peace. Feel the warmth of His embrace. And even more so, a moment that fills you with hope.

Tonight as I looked out at the people who filled the seats, I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. The room was filled with faces of so many people I know and love dearly. The faces of fellow believers I’m fighting alongside for His glory, His name, and His Kingdom.

We stood and sang songs about the joy that comes with the birth of our Savior, the angels singing praises on the night He was born, and how in a season such as this, we are reminded of the power that comes when we take a posture of adoration. And then during the fourth song we sang a line in O Holy Night that says, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.”

A weary world rejoices.


I don’t think I could come up with a better word to describe the overarching state of people right now. People are worn out. Run down. And flat out exhausted.

Everywhere I turn, people are getting hit left and right and no one seems to be catching a break.

It feels a bit like we are all stuck on a hamster wheel and can’t find a way off. At the beginning of 2020 we were just minding our own business, when all of a sudden someone named COVID gave the hamster wheel a big spin and it has been swirling and swirling ever since. At first we were able to put on our best running shoes and stay on our feet. But overtime, we have grown tired – weary – and we’ve lost our footing. We are now flat on our face being thrown around on this hamster wheel while it just keeps spinning and spinning.

No resolutions have come about. Tensions are still high. Life is still muddy and uncertain.

And people are weary.

I know I am. It’s not exactly COVID that impacted my last two years, but rather a massive change in my career, new callings I stepped into that stretched and challenged me, a big surgery that has taken a huge toll on me emotionally, physically, and financially, changing family dynamics, and my continued attempt to navigate this thing called life.

I am tired.

And while for months I kept telling myself that a break was coming, one day when I sat down to look at the calendar and think about when that moment might come, I realized it wasn’t.

You see, life doesn’t stop and it doesn’t slow down. The hamster wheel just keeps spinning and if we put our hope in the belief that a moment will come when the hamster wheel will stop and we will be able to catch our breath, we are going to find ourselves utterly disappointed. Because the reality is, that moment isn’t coming.

People will continue to fail you. Relationships will continue to have their challenges. Sickness will continue to creep into the lives of those you love. Finances will continue to cause a bit of a headache. Fighting for a well balanced healthy life will continue to take discipline. Your children will continue to frustrate you and make mistakes.

Sin will continue to permeate this world. And what comes from sin is what causes us to be weary. So until our time on earth is done, the hamster wheel will continue to spin.

As we sang the song O Holy Night and I looked out at the faces of those who filled the church, I could just feel it – they were weary. I could have pointed to one person after another and told you something going on in their life I knew was painful and hard. I knew that room was full of broken, hurting, and tired people. People who wish the hamster wheel would just stop spinning for a moment.

But in the midst of all that weariness, I also could feel the hope. I could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices.

Because you see, the story doesn’t end there.

As the song says, our weary world has a reason to rejoice.

We have a reason to hope.

Tonight we sang songs and lit candles to remember the gift that was given to us. The gift of our Father desiring to step into our lives in such a real and personal way that He sent His Son in the sweetest and purest and humblest of ways to bridge the gap between Him and us.

And because of that, we can rejoice.

We know the hamster wheel won’t stop spinning. We know the problems will keep coming. We know the war will continue to wage on. We know the fight isn’t over.

But our hope isn’t in the resolution of our problems. Our hope is in the One who reigns over our problems.

Is life going to get easier? Probably not. Is life going to slow down? Probably not. Is life going to start being less painful? Probably not. Will the weariness go away? Probably not.

But amidst that weariness, is hope and a reason to rejoice and it came in the form of a sweet little baby wrapped in cloths lying in a manger.

He is the reason we rejoice. He is our hope.

Your hamster wheel will continue to spin. A break from life like you want probably isn’t coming. But take heart and find hope in the truth that because of our sweet Savior, you can be weary and still rejoice.