A Heavy Christmas

My heart hurts right now for the people who are celebrating Christmas during a tough time.  I’m thinking about the family that’s saying an earthly goodbye to a mom.  I think about the parents holding their son’s hand as he fights for his life in a hospital room.  I think about the mom who’s spending her first Christmas without her son and the widow who’s now alone at Christmas.

How do you comfort someone on what feels like a joyous time of year when the human struggle inside reminds them of the pain and/or worry they feel?  What do you say that doesn’t sound insincere or inadequate? 

I’ve been struggling this week to find the balance for my blog post because of this.  I wanted to write to you, Iron Porch, and talk about what the spirit of Christmas means.  But when I sit down to write, I keep coming back to people who are suffering during Christmas and how much it just might hurt to see everyone so joyful and happy when the days, to you, seem to drag out or maybe even in the opposite direction, are going too quickly.  I guess this is my attempt to find the balance…

Humanity messed up the idea of a sinless life.  Because of that, God knew we needed a Savior.  And He went big.  It was foretold in Isaiah 9:6 (NASB), “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

God knew we needed a sacrifice to cover our sins, a truly spotless Lamb.  So He sent His perfect Son.  It was the gift of all gifts.  A gift we didn’t deserve.  A gift we still don’t.  And yet He so loved us that He sent Jesus down to earth to become that sacrifice.  Jesus gives us perfect answers even when we don’t understand.  He is just and merciful at the same time.  His love as a Father far surpasses that of any human father, and He will bring peace to this Earth once again.

Joseph was told in a dream what was happening.  “She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” –Matthew 1:21 (NASB)

He will save His people.  God sent His Son for you.  We celebrate Christmas because the Son of Man came into this world as a babe lying in a dirty manger, grew up, died on the cross, and rose again so that we could accept the free gift of salvation as believers. 

Being believers, we know that the Holy Spirit dwells in us.  Jesus called Him the Comforter (KJV).  So here’s what I would say to the people I’m thinking about this week…

Because He dwells in us, He’s right there with you while you grieve.  He’s there as you celebrate.  He’s there as you mourn.  He will not abandon you.  He will sustain you.  

I’m praying for these families as I go through this week and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I ask you to join me in prayer for them, as well, and for all families that may be going through a difficult Christmas season. 

I love you and Merry Christmas,

Erin

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