I was recently reading an article where the author asked, whatever happened to “Have a holly, jolly Christmas?” I realized how true this statement rings for many. We celebrate so many things of Christmas, one of which is family. Many families are broken and hurting this Christmas. Whether touched by death, divorce, or other hardships many family chains have been broken. I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me that she hates Christmas time. When I asked her why she told me that it reminded her of a painful Christmas she experienced years ago. I have another friend who works with a mental hospital and she tells me that the number of inpatients increases during the holidays as well. I’m not so sure that holly, jolly describes Christmas for most people.
I love Christmas, but I must say this year I have both anticipation and dread as it approaches. I love spending time with my family, but I am also keenly aware that this year my grandfather won’t be with us. My heart hurts when I think of spending Christmas without him, yet I know that He will be celebrating in heaven this year. In his absence, I am asking Immanuel to make my family aware of His Presence. I’m asking God to comfort us this Christmas.
For a lot of people, Christmas brings gut-wrenching pain, and we need to be sensitive to their pain. One of my favorite Christmas carols is Immanuel – God with us. On that first Christmas, God gave us the best gift of all – His Presence in a dark and dismal world. He offers that same gift to day. He wants to hold us in our pain and carry us through the dark times. We do not have to walk through them alone. On that first Christmas, Christ came down to rescue us from sin and pain. He longs to do the same today. He knows our needs better than we do ourselves. He is the Wonderful, Counselor. Call out to Him this Christmas!