December 24, 2020
The Christmas season is supposed to be a wonderful time for families and friends to gather, reconnect, and celebrate. BUT is it really the most wonderful time of the year?
For families experiencing a military separation, or for those who have lost a loved one, holidays can be yet another reminder that this person is not there. Families in these situations may be experiencing a lot of different feelings during the holidays -- loneliness, depression, homesickness, frustration, stress, or guilt.
And this doesn’t only apply to the military family. With all of the problems that we are facing now as a nation, “Peace on Earth” just doesn’t seem to fit. Many of us may be experiencing agitation, stress in finances, or in the marriage, conflict… which is the exact opposite of peace. Maybe now more than ever we need to believe in the REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. The day Jesus was born, of all the things the Angels could have said to the shepherds to announce the largest tectonic shift in human history, they declared that there is “PEACE & HOPE GIVEN TO THE SONS OF MEN.” Luke 2:14
I, for one, am so thankful for the beautiful Christmas story that is most definitely NOT a children’s story.
Our Father sent His only Son to die for the storms you’re in today. He came then AND He is here for you again today in the darkest corners of your hopelessness. If we see Christmas as a rated G children’s story it doesn’t take long into our adult lives to feel an aching resentment or a frustrated cynicism as we roll our eyes at this, “most wonderful time of year.”
Let’s be real… This is an R rated story for ALL HUMANS. Through an illegitimate birth, He surrendered all of His powers and became an innocent child. The whole story is wildly hidden in humanness, rather than awesomeness.
The truth is, we need to take heart and find joy in the middle of our trials. Because He hides the peace and hope that we need in midst of darkest seasons. And, most of all, He hides the best things - His desires and His purpose for us - in the gritty ashes of our disappointment.
It is key to remember that He is hiding this growth and healing FOR YOU NOT FROM YOU. The foreshadowing of His unlikely conception and birth points to two truths I want you and me to hear Him say to us today.
1. “I want you to know that you are not alone and things are not as they seem.”
2. “Just watch...I will surprise you. I will use the most unlikely places of your limited, frail humanity to bring rescue and redemption to all of my kids and to each of you again today.”
So even though it may not seem like it… This really can be The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. May God bless you, May God your family, and May God bless America!