For Such A Time As This

Maximizing everyday moments to glorify God

Christmas Hope

on December 11, 2016

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (NIV)

I absolutely love Christmas. There is a certain giddiness that I get when decorating the tree, setting up lights and wrapping presents. Growing up, I remember hanging out in my mom’s bedroom with her and watching Christmas specials while she slid piles of boxes over so that I could help wrap them to put under our tree.

Now that I have a family of my own, I’ve tried to bring some of that excitement into our home. With teenagers, that can be tricky, but generally speaking, I think my kids share my love of the season.

But the hard part of the season is being very far away from many of the people I care the most about. My side of the family and many of my closest friends are thousands of miles away, so we don’t get to share the magic of the season with them. We do a really good job of communicating, sharing pictures and videos, and now, even video chatting, so they don’t feel as far away. But not seeing them in person does make me sad.

Our church does a service this time of the year called “Blue Christmas.” It’s done to recognize that not everyone is joyful at the holidays. It’s designed to offer a little comfort, and a lot of hope. People struggle and life is hard and the holidays can magnify pain, loss, struggles and other sadness in our hearts.

I attended that service this weekend. And while generally speaking, life is pretty good for us, I know that there will be trouble at some point. During the service, my thoughts drifted to missing my family. But more than that, my heart tugged at the idea of someone, perhaps even someone I love, not having the greatest gift – the hope that comes with Jesus.

Whatever this life throws at us, we can be assured that without the hope of a future in eternity with Jesus, this life on earth is the best there is. That is a sad thought.

Just think about it for a minute. For a non-believer, this life, no matter what it looks like for them, good or bad; is the very best they will ever have. Because eternity in hell is going to be unthinkably awful.

But.

For the believer, this life, no matter what it looks like for them, good or bad; is the very worst they will ever have. Because eternity in Heaven with Jesus is going to be unimaginably good – beyond anything we can comprehend or imagine on this earth.

wrapped-christmas-presentAt that first Christmas, over 2000 years ago, Jesus chose to put on human skin and experience life in order to offer Himself as the sacrifice required to make us right with God for the punishment of our sins. It is a gift that no amount of money can buy. It is a gift that none of us deserves. But it is a gift that He freely offers us.

I pray that if you are reading this and you haven’t yet fully accepted that gift, please consider it. It will be the best and most beautiful decision you will ever make.

Because when I think about Christmases here on Earth separated from friends and family that I love, it does hurt. But it hurts nothing like the thought of any of them spending eternity separated from God.

Accept the gift. Merry Christmas.

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