The Halloween costumes weren’t even put away quite yet, but the internet was already a-buzz of people putting up Christmas trees. I’m not a “No Christmas till after Thanksgiving” stickler. This year has been rough. We could all use a little extra dose of Christmas spirit, right? However, for me personally, I thought, “I just don’t *feel* like Christmas this year.” Like many, our family has weathered several additional trials along with the pandemic throughout 2020. At that moment, the weariness of this year set in, and the thought of Christmas lights and Christmas movies just didn’t spark joy like it usually did. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wrestled with this, so friends, may I offer some encouragement? Despite how we *feel*, the fact remains- Christ has come!
One thing the Lord has really taught me in my adult life is that Christianity is based on facts, not my feelings. This has been a game-changer for me. Though my emotions waver, the fact of my salvation doesn’t. Even though this Christmas may feel different than past ones, the facts of our faith remain! When our emotions want to get the best of us, we rest in the Truth. What is Truth? Well, John 17:17 tells us it’s God’s Word. So friends, whether the holiday stress gets the best of you, you’re in a season of mourning, or even if you’re feeling extra joyful this season, let’s meditate on Truth:
- Though our world feels dark, the Light of the world has come (John 8:12).
- Though our world feels broken, Christ has come to heal and bring restoration. The healing may not always be physical, but his healing is even better, spiritual. He heals us of our very worst disease, our sin (1 Pet. 2:24).
- Though our world feels weary, we can rejoice because our true joy comes from Christ (Phi. 4:4).
- Though our world feels hopeless, we can rest assured that it most definitely isn’t. The Hope of the world was born at Christmas (1 Pet. 1:3).
- Though it feels like there may be no way out of our current situation, we can trust the Way was born on Christmas. Christ made the way for salvation (truly, our deepest need) through his life, death, and resurrection (John 14:6).
Indeed, those words, “the weary world rejoices” hit a little deeper this year. Maybe, the Lord is using 2020 to help us feel that deep sense of longing for him. In our usual busyness of Christmas, it’s easy to focus on the presents, baking, and to-do lists and miss that sense of waiting for the Savior. As we feel this tension of 2020, may it remind us of that tension God’s people must’ve felt as they waited hundreds of years for the promised Messiah. And like the people of the Old Testament waited, we’re still waiting too, aren’t we? We await Christ’s second return. Trials often stir in us the desire for Heaven, praise the Lord! Even if Christmas comes with extra mourning this year, may it cause us to look toward the second Advent, when our Savior will come as King.
No matter how dark our year has been, the Truth of Christmas still remains. While we should live in this reality daily, Christmas is an intentional time to celebrate that. Even in the hardest times, Christ is worthy of our praise & celebration! While twinkling lights may not bring us joy this year, Christ does. Because Christ came, even in a season of sorrow, we have the promise of John 10:10, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Friends, don’t let Satan steal, kill, and destroy the abundant life Christ has for us this Christmas. Be honest with the Lord about your feelings, and then recount his faithfulness and the Truth of Christmas. Though life still isn’t easy right now, by God’s grace, he’s growing in me my usual excitement for the Christmas season. In fact, I think it’ll all feel even more meaningful this year.
Friends, put up the Christmas lights, and as you do, remember the Light of the World. Make room in your home for the Christmas tree, while remembering to make room in your heart for the Savior. Watch Christmas movies with your family, remembering the forever family we get to be in because of Christ’s birth. Blast Christmas music in worship to our Savior. As you serve friends, family, and neighbors with gift-giving and baking, remember how the Savior served you through his life, death, and resurrection. Let’s let the world see the faithful people of Christ rejoicing! Indeed, our Hope has come, and that changes everything!