Hope of Christmas

Christmas time brings our family great joy.  We, like most of us, celebrate the birth of Jesus in many traditional ways.  We have a Christmas tree, sing carols, watch holiday movies, and give gifts to our loved ones.  It is a happy time for our family.  There is a hope of Christmas.

But, we have both had to go through a Christmas season where very special people to us were forever removed from our lives.  We usually reflect upon our losses at this appropriate time of the year.  Why do we voluntarily engage in this dichotomy?  It is like Bob Ross says, “You need the dark to see the light.”

All of life is full of light and dark.  Tragedies have a way of adding context to our stories.  Oftentimes we tolerate the mundane and keep pushing through each day.  We never know what later today will bring to our doorstep.  When it hits, it hits hard.  God doesn’t stop the pain, but He promises to help walk us through it.  This is, at least in part, how He develops our character and integrity.

The pain we experienced in those difficult Christmas seasons helps us to stay grounded and reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas.  Our life together is a gift from God.  Our children are a gift from God.  All that we own and all that we have become are gifts from God.  This is why we spread holiday joy.  This is why we give gifts to our loved ones.  We are never more like God than when we are giving.

There is a family in our lives that experienced a tremendous tragedy last week – the worst kind imaginable.  A young family of four recently lost their husband and daddy.  Please pray for Heather and their two sons.  God has not left their side.  Although this is a very dark time in their lives, on the other side there will be light.  And God’s glory!

After focusing on the dark part of life during the Christmas season, next week we will focus upon the light.  After all, we have Hope!

Romans 15:13 says our prayer for you best, so that’s how we will end this week.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Have a wonderful week!
Jake and Shannon

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