Advent messages from around the world
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Hop, Skip, and Jump
When I was nine or 10 years old, our grade school class put on a production of “The Elves and the shoemaker” for the annual school Christmas program. The story was written by the Brothers Grimm. It’s a short story with a happy ending, so I encourage you to read it at your leisure online.
I was chosen to be one of the elves in the Christmas program. The names that the elves were given was, “Hop, Skip and Jump.”
The names were actually taken from “ENID BLYTON BOOK OF BROWNIES (HOP, SKIP & JUMP).”
I was asked to be “skip” in the program. I was so excited I was going to be an elf in the school play! But, there was just one problem. At the age of ten, I had never learned how to skip!
When this realization hit me, I was scared to be the elf, skip. What if I embarrassed myself? What if everyone laughed when I came on stage and couldn’t skip. It didn’t take long for me, a ten-year-old, to lose heart and just want to give up. When my friends and parents heard of my predicament, they did all they could to help and encourage me. My friends would try to teach me in the schoolyard, and even my 6-foot 1-inch, 200 lb. Father skipped across the living room floor a few times as an example.
I worked hard to learn how to skip by the night of the Christmas program. I was still unsure of myself as I stood side stage. But when the narrator said, “There were three elves, Hop (who hopped onto the stage like a bunny rabbit, Skip (yes I did it! I happily skipped onto the stage) and Jump (Whose jump looked a lot like a bunny hopping again).
I had done it. I had worked hard and persevered over my inability to skip.
The writer of the book of Hebrews talks about perseverance in chapter 12.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
Me persevering over my lack of ability to skip pales at what Jesus did for you and me. God’s Holy Spirit puts us on a path to follow throughout our lives, a way that leads us to eternity. We all sometimes stray from that path and get entangled in things we shouldn’t be doing, saying, or thinking,
Jesus is our example to get back on the path when we stray. God had a plan. He sent His only Son to live among us. Jesus taught us how to live a Godly life while serving God and others, and ultimately, He died for us; for our sins.
The Hebrews passage states, “so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Jesus endured not only a horrible death on the cross, but He also endured opposition from the religious leaders, desertion by His followers, and the death of His cousin John.
Jesus already did the hard part. So, don’t grow weary and lose heart because of what the world throws at you. Instead, persevere, and turn to the cross of Christ. Ask Him in times of need to help you get back on the path that was chosen for you, even before you were born.
Jesus, you suffered so much for our sins. You opened the gates of heaven through your perseverance and overcame death itself. Help us to be more like you. When we grow weary and lose heart in this world, to push forward on the path chosen for us, and to always come to you for comfort, support, and rest. Amen