If you have a hard time during the holidays, this is for you.
If you aren’t able to go “home” for Christmas, or the home you do go to is filled with brokenness that renders the holidays “unhappy”, this is for you.
If your heart is broken this year because you will be facing Christmas without a loved on for the first time, or splitting your children with your ex-spouse, or any number of things that can bring sorrow instead of joy, this is for you.
And even if none of the things listed above, or other unhappy scenarios that I haven’t specifically noted above, are true for you, this is for you also.
There is a reason to be joyful this Christmas.
It has nothing to do with gifts, or food, or decorations. It’s not about ugly Christmas sweater parties, white elephant gifts, or egg nog. Santa has nothing to do with it, and neither do his elves.
We can be joyful because there is a hope – a hope that transcends everything we are, have or do. A hope that is powerful enough to prevail even in the travails and tragedies of living in a world broken by sin. It is not a joy that is divorced from reality; rather, it is a joy that is born of a full embrace of reality, both our present reality, and the reality to come.
It is our blessed hope, the very foundation for living. This hope is a Person. He existed long before Christmas trees and yule logs, and egg nog came on the scene. He is the reason for all that Christmas is. He is Christmas. He is the Christ.
Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation – the immortal breaking into our mortal world. The perfect choosing to dwell with the imperfect. The sinless coming to be with the sinful.
Christmas is the celebration of our rescue – we are beyond hope and help without this inbreaking. Had God not freely chosen to intervene, we would surely be lost. But He chose to rescue us.
Christmas is the celebration of hope – hope entered the world in a stable in a small town called Bethlehem. Hope for salvation, for restoration, for a future. A future beyond this temporal world. A future with our God in glory…forever. And it is a hope that begins today – that we can be reconciled to God, that the sin that separates was done away with in His flesh. The gift is for me, and you, and all who would call on His name.
This hope does not fade. It cannot be destroyed. It does not depend on our present circumstances. It is a promise, a sure foundation for all who would come. The promise that someday there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more broken relationship, no more death. All who call on the name of the Lord, all who trust this One Who cloaked Himself in flesh and came to dwell with us, will taste this goodness.
I pray that you will feel this joy, that this hope would saturate your being, and that you would gaze upon Him Who came to make this hope possible.
He came for you.
Merry Christmas to you.