Hope for the World

A personal word from Mary Kathleen Mahon, Ph.D.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

I collect Nativities from around the world. I love to set them up each Christmas. Mary and Joseph, the angels, the animals, the shepherds, and baby Jesus in the manger.

Recently I reflected on this scene we celebrate each year. I thought about Mary giving birth in a stable. Placing her precious newborn baby on a pile of hay. I imagine her adjusting the swaddling clothes in such a way that the straw wouldn’t scratch his face. 

When the angel told her she would give birth to the Messiah, I’m sure Mary didn’t think a manger would be his bed. The shepherds arrived looking for the newborn savior; the sign the angel told them to look for was a baby lying in a manger. This wasn’t the ideal place for a baby born to bring “good news of great joy.” But this is where Jesus, the Messiah, the hope for the world, was born.

That first Christmas, the birth of a vulnerable child embodied hope for the world. 

It makes me think of so many mothers of ChildHope students I have met. They live in vulnerable communities. They often have very few resources, their homes are humble, and they struggle to protect their children from that environment. 

A widow with 7 children recently expressed her gratitude to ChildHope. With tears in her eyes, she thanked us — and you — for always remembering and helping the humble people. 

This mother, like so many, is grateful because she knows her children are safe and loved at their ChildHope school. They are getting a quality education and hearing about God’s love that was shown through the birth of Jesus in a manger.

As I reflect on the Christmas story and look at the faces of the children in our ChildHope schools, I think of how they embody hope for their families and communities … just like that baby lying in the manger. 

Thank you for standing with us to bring the good news of great joy for all people, and especially for the most vulnerable — the last, the lost, the least, the little, whom Jesus loves and came for.