Another year has gone by! I can’t believe that we are entering the Christmas season. This is a time that is loved by many, including myself. The lights, decorations, music, the smells of baking, the festivities and celebrations and so much more give so many reasons to be filled with happiness and joy.

It is these same reasons that bring so much sadness.

Statistics show that it is during this season that depression and suicide is on the rise. In a time when it should be peace on earth good will to so many- it is a time that is the loneliest and saddest for many more. It is a time when the decisions are made to break up families, when loss hits many hard, when people realize just how much they don’t have and when debt takes over.

The Christmas story is filled with many of the characteristics that we wrestle with in this season and in life. It is a story of uncertainty and anxiety, of ridicule and judgment, of societal shame and unacceptance, of displacement and separation, of lack and loss.

The Christmas story is filled with many of the characteristics that we wrestle with in this season and in life. It is a story of uncertainty and anxiety, of ridicule and judgment, of societal shame and unacceptance, of displacement and separation, of lack and loss.

It is also the story of acceptance and expectation, of searching and finding, of fulfilment and provision, of peace and joy.

The two scenarios coexisted- the good and the bad- the hard and the easy- they could not be separated. And because of Jesus, hope was born. He came. He was with Mary and Joseph right where they were. He met them and His presence was enough.

As I think of these next few weeks, my heart hurts with people in my own close circles for which there is only sadness. I know that I can’t take that away from them. It is a journey they must walk. But I also know that Jesus is with them. The best gift in this season and every season is Jesus. I am so glad that Christmas draws us back to what matters-if we let it. Will you let it?
Life isn’t always easy. I have had some rough experiences and during the Christmas season. I had surgery 2 years in a row on Christmas Eve! I needed then to be drawn into the arms of Jesus. Not much has changed. I still know I need to. I know I want to. I know I have to. He is my only hope.

Tis the season to remember God so loved us and gave His son. (John 3)
Tis the season to remember Emmanuel, God with us has come with His counsel, His might, His peace and still rules no matter what is happening. (Isaiah 9: 6-7)
Tis the season to trust God and let it be to us as He has said.  He is with us. (Luke 1)
Tis the season to remember that wherever we are God will enter and break forth with good news at just the right time. (Luke 2:8-14)
Tis the season to remember that when we search for God, He will lead us to where we can find Him. (Matthew 2:10-12)

“Tis the Season to remember that in it all and for us all, Jesus came. Right into the middle of our messes, our confusion, our hustle and bustle- new life appeared. In the sound of a baby’s cry there was music, there was power, there was purity, there was love. And Mary looked right into His eyes and pondered many things in her heart.” — Luke 2:19

May we do the same. This is the season.