Glory to God!
Often times, change comes into our personal lives whether we like it or not; whether we had a choice about the change or not. The type of change often affects our anticipation of Christmas! When the change is positive, we really look forward to Christmas. If the change is negative, then we may be dreading Christmas. Since Dad passed away, every holiday has been very different; especially Christmas! Dad was always a lot of fun to watch opening gifts. He never took the time to remove the wrapping paper from the box. He always, always tore into the box ~ to the point that Mom could never recycle the gift boxes he opened. Precious memories that bring a mixture of smiles and tears! Now, since Zella & I have three small grandchildren, every holiday is becoming very different; especially Christmas! Needless to say, we are looking forward to seeing their reactions this Christmas! Yet, whether the change in our personal lives was positive or negative, there is a very strong constant in Christmas that provides joy beyond our understanding.
We find that constant in the message the angels announced to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). For some of us, our hearts have been broken by change this year. We may have lost a loved one or a very dear friend. Maybe we have contracted an illness that is greatly affecting our health. Maybe our marital status changed this year ~ a change we did not want and tried very hard to stop. Maybe we are without a job, and we are feeling stressed about providing for our family with Christmas approaching. Christmas will be very different. It may seem that the goal for Christmas is just to get through it. However, the Savior of Christmas brings forgiveness, and He also brings healing, even healing for a broken, sad heart. Jesus always provides a new beginning, a new tomorrow, a new future.
Hopefully, when there has been positive change in our personal lives, we will not allow that positive change to shadow the real reason of celebrating Jesus throughout Christmas! For this truth, we rejoice every day and every Christmas, in spite of the change that walked into our lives!
~ Tommy Simpson