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For God So Loved the World - December 2011

I feel extraordinarily thankful to be here this Christmas with my husband and my children.  There was a moment a few months ago when I wasn't sure ... so much so that my Christmas shopping was complete in early September.

I love that I will be here on Christmas morning to watch the little faces of my children light up when they see their gifts.  I love that I will be here to hug my husband and tell him how precious he is to me.  I love that I will be here to listen to Christmas carols, see the Christmas lights, smell the Christmas treats, and enjoy time with all my loved ones.  I especially love that I will be here to witness multitudes celebrate the birth of our Lord and my personal Savior.  However, I admit that a great sadness has settled on my heart, as well.  As we celebrate with our families, there are many precious friends who are spending their first Christmas without their mom or their dad, their husband or their wife.

Inheritance of Hope has lost many of our parents this year - parents who fought their illness bravely, yet were called home prematurely, it seems to me.  I can only imagine the heartache of their families this Christmas.  As I stormed the heavens on their behalf this morning, I thought about how such a season of joy could cause such grief.  Does it have to be that way?  I thought about all the things I love about Christmas, and then I thought about what God truly calls us to celebrate on December 25th.

Christmas is a time in which those of us who have lost someone or fear losing someone should feel even more comfort, more joy, more peace.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) We are not called to celebrate our earthly relationships during Christmas - we are called to celebrate the Christ child, His life, death, and resurrection.  Through His birth a Savior came into the world, promising eternal life and the opportunity to see our lost loved ones again for those who believe.  Our loved ones are not only a part of our past.  With Christ, they are also a part of our future.

I know our families still grieve the loss of the parent they love so dearly.  But my prayer is that by remembering the sacrifice of Jesus, they will find a little more peace this Christmas season.