Generally when we anticipate Christmas we anticipate celebrating Jesus birth, which is a good thing. Yet His birth was the seed of something, not the fruit. A number of years ago I read the story of one pastor who set up the Nativity scene each year with a spotlight behind a cross so the shadow of the cross fell upon the Nativity scene because this was why Jesus was born. He came to give us hope at His birth but this hope could only be fully realized through the completion of His purpose, His death and resurrection.
Over the centuries this hope has been realized in the lives of multiplied millions of people. One of those was John Newton, author of the famous hymn Amazing Grace. Newton was a former slave trader who found freedom in Christ and became a Minister. One day he was preaching in an asylum on the power of the blood of Christ. There was a despondent young man there who shuffled down the hall to hear Newton, listened to the message and after he shuffled back to his room and began to write.
Newton’s message brought hope to him and changed him. He was released from the asylum, became friends with Newton and they published a book of hymns together. He became a well-known poet and Martin Luther King Jr. often quoted from his abolitionist poem, ‘The Negro’s Complaint.’ The young man was William Cowper. What he sat down and wrote that day is recorded below. When listening reflect on this truth of scripture to anchor your soul.
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, Hebrews 6:17-19 (NKJV)