We are in the midst of the holiday season, a special time of year for sure. It prompts us to look back and to also look to the future. When we look at the past, we remember childhood wishes and special gifts left under the tree. I remember being allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, praying for a “white Christmas”, watching Christmas specials, and being together with family and friends. Spending time with family and friends was, and still is, my favorite part of Christmas. During this holiday season I would encourage you to take some time and spend it with family and friends. Make memories. Renew friendships. Mend broken relationships.
Looking back upon this year I’m left wondering why it had to be so hard? On a personal level, I know many of you as well as myself have gone through illnesses and loss of family and friends. In our nation, and in the world we have had economic difficulties, we have had a typhoon that has left thousands dead in the Philippines. This Holiday Season seems like such a dark time. Hope seems to be a distant memory.
As I write this, my heart is wrecked with sadness. Last week our small neighborhood was rocked by the sudden death of a young father. A few days ago I heard from friends in Alberta that their four year old boy passed away. His funeral is the 19th. I can’t begin to understand what these families are going through. Gifts placed lovingly under the tree, meant to bring joy, now just bring grief.
I ask myself, “How can we celebrate when there is so much pain and sadness?” I will answer my own question, “How can we Not celebrate?” If we do not celebrate, evil wins. If we do not celebrate the world remains dark. Remember it was at the darkest time in human history that Jesus, the Light of the World, came to give hope and salvation. In the darkest part of the night God sent His light into the world. Like the shepherds we have heard about Jesus and encountered Him. We have God’s hope, Jesus dwelling in us. Remember in the darkest of times the smallest of lights is bright. We have light, we have hope. During this dark time of history let us, like the shepherds take the message of hope and light to all who will listen.
As we look to the New Year, we have hope. Just as the dawn brings the promise and hope of the new day, so does a new year bring promise and hope to our lives. I am looking forward to next year and where God may lead us. Now more than ever we need to make a difference in this world.
Please join us at the Bridesville Community Hall for an old fashioned country Christmas Eve service. Tuesday December 24, 6:00 – 7:00. From our house to yours – Merry Christmas and may you and your family be richly blessed in the New Year.