I know there are many who are having a hard time experiencing joy this Christmas. I have friends so angry at God they cannot even pray. I have friends who have gone through divorce this year and are alone this Christmas. Friends who have lost their children to suicide this year. Friends whose children died to horrible illness this year. Family who sit with loved ones who no longer recognize them because of dementia this Christmas. Friends who have gone through financial ruin this year. Friends whose parents died this year. Friends who have recently lost their homes and all of their possessions contained within. I think about this past year for many whom I know, and it has brought grief and loss. It makes my heart heavy and sad, and tears quietly roll down my cheeks.
I look around me from where I sit and I am very blessed. I have a beautiful home that is very comfortable. If I am cold, I can seek warmth. If I am warm, I can cool off. I have clothes to spare. My son jokingly said “Our refrigerator looks like we have more food than our country has funds in the reserves.” But the sentiment is true…we don’t really know what true hunger is like. And as I look at the faces of my immediate family, we have our health. When I look back, this has been a hard year-one I wouldn’t want to repeat. But despite the hard times, I am blessed to have my husband and my children by my side this holiday season. They are in good health. We have a home, clothes to wear, food to eat, presents to open. That makes us wealthier than most of the people in the world.
But what if we didn’t?
What if we didn’t have a home, or a bed to sleep in, or clothes to wear? We would be in good company.
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7 NIV)
Jesus was born without any clothes, without a home, without a bed… he had nothing. He was born into the most meager of existences, yet he was the King of Kings. I think God allowed it that way so that Jesus could relate to each of us no matter what our circumstances – no matter how rich or how poor. It isn’t about how much or how little we have this Christmas, but truly, it is all about who we know. Jesus was born on Christmas day to bring us to a knowledge of his father. To show us the way to eternal life. To provide us hope through all of life’s trials and difficulties. I mentioned earlier that it has been a difficult year for me, and it has. But on numerous occasions I have said, “I don’t know how people make it who don’t have God in their life!” That’s what Jesus has done for me… He has given me hope. Even this Christmas season as I think about my friends who are in such pain from the tremendous losses they have suffered in recent months, my source of hope for me and for them is Jesus.
Do you know Him? Do you know the Christ of Christmas? I pray for you today, that no matter where you are, no matter how much or how little you have, no matter how happy or how sad you feel, that you will take comfort in knowing the God of all comfort and peace.