I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Death. It doesn’t seem like such a joyful topic for such a joyful time as Christmas, does it? But death has unavoidably been on my mind this year, as we said goodbye to both of my maternal grandparents, my sister’s father-in-law, and a few distant relatives. Last year, I lost our son Canaan’s identical twin very early in pregnancy. It’s a loss I still deal with everyday.
And can I say- although I am incredibly sad (I’m crying in Panera Bread as I’m typing this and a few people are looking at me like I’m strange)- it gives me the longing for Heaven unlike any other. And I have to wonder, if life was perfect, no pain, no tears, would we ever long to be with Jesus?
I know that when things are going great for me, which undoubtedly (and of no part of my own) they have for much of my life, I don’t give much of a thought to Heaven. I’m focused on the here-and-now, the blessings that of course came from God but aren’t what life is all about.
But when I have lost so many people whom I so dearly loved in recent history, how can I not want Heaven? How can I not long to be in a place where I’ll never deal with death again?
Scripture tells us in John 16:33 that we.will.have.trouble. We will. It’s inevitable and and a lot of it is a result of man’s sinful nature in some way or another. Anyone who tells you that life is a Christian ensures perfect physical health and material wealth is a liar, plain and simple.
But spiritual health and wealth? Yes, we DO have it!
Jesus tells us that IN HIM we have peace. Not in our 401k. Not in our cozy little house. Not even in our family. But in HIM.
I didn’t do an Advent series on the blog this year, but as we look forward to the ultimate birthday party- that of Christ’s birth, my heart has been overflowing with an intense longing to be in Heaven. Soon.
So I leave you with these thoughts about Christmas. Although it IS fun and I love giving and receiving gifts, I love making and sharing wonderful food, and the Christmas lights make me giddy, there is SO much more to this celebration.
It’s because of Christmas that we have hope. The hurts, the scares, the fears we have, they’ll all be wiped away in the twinkling of an eye.
It’s because of Christmas that although death sucks, we know that we can have eternal life and see our loved ones in Heaven.
It’s because of Christmas that we have Easter, the other pivotal holiday in a Christian’s life.
Friends, although I write about many other topics on this blog (did someone say food?) my one wish is for all of you to experience the love of Christ this Christmas.
And that, my friends, is why Christmas is impossibly joyful, even though it is inevitably intertwined with death!
If you have any questions, or would like for me to pray for you, please, please e-mail me. I would love to welcome new members into the family of Christ this season!
Looking for more advent devotionals? Check out my friend Kirsten’s blog where she is featuring a blogger each day of advent in a series called Voices in the Desert.