Good morning, saints of God! This week will bring us to the Third Sunday in Advent – still in preparation mode for the celebration of Christ’s birth. The readings for this week will be: Psalm 146; Isaiah 35:1-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11. Reading through the lessons reminds me of the song “O Little Town of Bethlehem” in which we sing, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.” That’s a good way to describe our readings; they are a mixed bag of hopes and fears. Isaiah gives us a hopeful scene of miracle healings and joyful singing when Messiah comes. But then Matthew tells us of John the Baptist sitting in a dark and dungy prison cell and expressing doubt and perhaps even disappointment with Jesus. I suspect John thought life would go a little more smoothly for him once the Messiah came. Will this Christmas season be all that you expect it to be? Snow-covered roads, illness, and family squabbles are just a few of the possible disappointments you may face in coming weeks. But these don’t have to threaten your joy at Christmas. Rather than pin all your hopes on a glitch-free holiday season, find your rest in the Savior who sets you free from your sins and heals your soul. You have his forgiveness, his friendship and his love. And that, really, is all any of us needs to have a truly merry Christmas.