(First posted December 2013. I wanted to revisit a Christmas post from a few years back that is just as pertinent today.)
At Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in all the celebration and miss the real meaning. Our lives are so busy and sometimes, when life is rough, it hits hardest at Christmas. Our non-Christian friends will look at us not understanding why we say they should have hope when their world gets rocked. Sometimes it seems that Christians get a reputation of being people who blindly follow without closely examining their faith.
“Your church is great when everything is going well, but what about in my life? When things get off track? It just won’t fit.”
How do you find God at the children’s cancer ward, the mortuary, Christmas morning after a bitter divorce, or a night at the bar? After calling nine one one, or an ambush in (fill in the city).
Praising God is easy(?) in church on Sunday morning, but does He really exist in our world, now?
To me, in any circumstances, I have to praise Him, proclaim him. I’ve met Him.
I can’t say He doesn’t exist. I’ve met Him.
I can’t say He’s not relevant today. I’ve met Him.
I can’t say He doesn’t care. I’ve met Him.
And He’s given us all a message that he’s here with us, in any situation. Even in a manger. Emmanuel doesn’t just speak about His physical presence, but also His emotional presence. He does care.
That’s what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “I Heard the Bells” was all about. He was one of America’s most beloved poets, but his life had been rocked the year he wrote this. His wife had died and the Civil War had just broken out.
Where does anyone go to look for hope at a time like that?
In two of the strangest, most illogical places. A manger and a cross.
Jesus is still here with us. Just sometimes it’s hard to see Him through the dust, smoke, and tears.
After a year of hate, peace on earth. What a great dream. And a Divine promise.
I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a super New Year. And please leave a comment below.