There are many reasons to love Christmas time:

The music.

The food.

The movies.

The decorations.

The gifts.

The lights.

Above all, there is one reason I love Christmas more than any other holiday:

The hope.

Christmas is a time to stop and remind ourselves of that little baby who changed the world forever. With Him came the Kingdom of God to this Earth, and we will never be the same.

This world is shaking. My world is shaking. Hurt, pain, anger, sadness, confusion seem to be fueling the globe, and we are all feeling the consequences.

In response, we cry, lament, maybe we even end up hurting one another. Our human bodies don't know how to handle this. That is because we were created for good.

We were intended to be beings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We were made to live a life with God. We are all bearers of the image of God, and this world is keeping us from living into that.

Every part of us hates the hate because we were made for love. It is against our nature to endure hate.

There is good news, friends: when that tiny little baby entered this world, he brought a message with Him.

"Repent, for the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near." Matthew 3:2

It has come near. We can live the life we were meant to live right now. There is hope for this world that seems so hopeless.

Jesus' intention was not simply for us to live with Him in Heaven when we die; He wants us to live with him - in the life we were created for - right now.

So, as we approach this election, or whatever is causing pain in our lives, let us remember the hope that we have. That little baby didn't just bring us a list of ways to enhance our lives.

I started celebrating Christmas long before it was time; there have been trees (yes, plural) up in my apartment since school started. While it is fun to listen to Christmas music and watch people's faces as they see a tree up in September, that's not why I do it and it's not why I love it.

I do it for the reminder of hope. This is Good News of great joy. This election does not determine the purpose or value of my life. My friendships do not determine my happiness. There is peace in the Kingdom, and I need that reminder every day.

Let's celebrate Christmas a little early this year, shall we?