Thursday, December 14, 2017
I know this can be a difficult time of year for some of us. Health challenges, missing loved ones, stress, etc. can make it hard to feel very "merry."
At the same time, I think we all need moments to stop, to pause, to breathe, and to celebrate something.
In the midst of every trial, we need hope.
In seasons of sorrow, we need pockets of joy.
In hardship and stress, we need laughter and song.
Christmas is a special time of year. But I think we can easily miss what it's really about.
It's not about decorations, cards, or trees.
It's not about parties or food.
It's not about shopping, stockings, or presents.
It's not about lights or caroling.
Ultimately, it's not even about gathering with family and friends.
Christmas is about what we all need. It's the reminder that Jesus loved us so much, that He chose to leave heaven and come to earth. God became a baby.
Jesus left perfection to enter our messy world.
He came to experience our trials.
To carry our sorrows.
To endure our hardships.
To embrace life as we know it.
And to die in our place.
So that we could then embrace Life itself - in Him.
Christmas is about the gift God gave in sending Jesus.
When we pause to remember that gift...
we'll see again the hope that we have in Him,
we'll receive renewed joy, knowing that death is not the end,
we'll want to celebrate and sing about how good our God is,
...and in the process, Christmas once again becomes the gift we always need.
So whatever you're going through right now - sorrow, pain, trials, hardships, stress - I hope you'll celebrate this Christmas with wonder, gratitude, and enthusiasm!
And in the process, I hope you'll find whatever you need.
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people, for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior...'" -Luke 2:10-11
"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means 'God with us')." -Matthew 1:23
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." -1 John 4:9
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." -John 3:16