Pretend with me. You are a child. It’s Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Glow and sparkle fill the room with Christmas magic. Being a curious child, you have already checked out the landscape of presents under the tree. You noted the gifts with your name on them. And – you’ve counted them. Now you wait . . . and wonder . . . and hope! But the pretending stops and you are an adult again. You ask yourself – “are there gifts for me as a grown-up? Is there something special under God’s Great Tree with my name on it?”
Christmas and a Beautiful Baby
Approaching Christmas brings thoughts of a manger, a beautiful baby in white swaddles, Mary and Joseph, wisemen, shepherds, angels. Then add gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Now, pull this ancient beautiful story forward into the present and picture a bright, decorated evergreen tree, stockings at a fireplace hearth, goodies and wassail on a festive table. Family and friends are part of holiday plans – even during a pandemic. This year we add masks, social distancing, virtual visits for gift exchanges to share special moments. I’m sure you have explored creative options. Then there’s the beautiful Christmas music and cards or e-cards.
Do you stop to ponder what all this December celebration means and why you participate every year? Read More …
Christmas has so many wonderful moments. Unfortunately, strands of loss and grief alter Christmas joy for many people each year. Approaching Christmas is hard when your heart is breaking. Depression in the holidays is a real thing.
Depression is experienced by many people during the holidays. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Life is hard. You may have had a terrible loss, a deep disappointment, a health issue, or something else that has pierced your heart this past year. It’s possible the painful life event even happened some years ago. You are not unhealthy for still feeling the sting, but you may need to find some healthy responses to move forward and be a balanced, hopeful person.
Sadness at Christmas is more common than many realize. Your life is filled with difficulties, hurts, losses, and disappointments. At Christmas, these things sometimes feel bigger.
What do you do when you have done your very best and it still wasn’t good enough? What is your next move after pouring into some endeavor and it didn’t seem to make a difference? How about the person who has lived healthy, food and exercise, all their life – and they get the news of cancer? You might have befriended someone who turns around and betrays you. What do you do when you prayed and trusted – and the bad thing still happened? How do you go on when death invades?
God loves you so much. Christmas is His way of proving it. He became a person just like you. God-in-a-Baby grew up in this challenging world, now so different from how He created it. Baby Jesus entered shattered creation to become a Savior. He says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5) He invites you to trust Him for this “new” in daily details, disappointments, tragedies and sorrows, and in losses that cannot be fixed. Jesus is the prize of Christmas because He is the only one who can help.
Emmanuel puts skin on God’s love. I hope you will be encouraged as you read the amazing display of God’s love for you. When you finish reading this, I hope you will ask yourself a critical question (see below). Read More …
The Christmas holiday season is almost here! Many people are starting to get excited. Are you?
Have you wondered what the Advent season is about? What is the goal? Why do people participate? What value does it bring to your modern, extremely busy life – especially during a hectic month?
I’d like to tell you a bit more about Advent and why people still participate. Advent starts soon. It’s only days away.
Do you wish you knew how to manage your life, relationships, and responsibilities better? Have you ever wanted a glimpse into God’s great heart? Perhaps you need to experience the freshness and possibilities Jesus brings in life’s challenges? Do you sometimes lack wisdom or wish you had better discernment of how to solve your problems? It’s your move.