The airwaves echo with music that declares,
"It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you,
'Be of good cheer!'
It's the hap-happiest season of all...."
But what if it doesn't feel that way for you? What if your reality screams that it's absolutely not? What if it takes every ounce of strength you can muster to work up a smile and pretend to "be of good cheer."
Your family member lays near death?
Or you've recently watched as their body was laid in the grave?
Illness ravages your body or that of someone you love?
What if that someone is your child?
Your child has chosen a lifestyle that contradicts the teachings of the home and the church ?
A family member faces addiction?
Or mental illness?
Your marriage is fractured...or broken?
Rejection overwhelms you?
You lost your job and a new one is not in sight?
The answer to your prayers was, "No."?
Sadly, these are all situations that are real...that are close by...that have been witnessed in recent days...that repeat over the years.
Wednesday Worship this week proclaimed that "All is Well." Honestly, after hearing accounts and looking into the eyes of those facing the struggles, I had to go back and listen to the words myself...with my own questioning. The song doesn't deny that there is darkness in this world...even during this season. It does, however, proclaim that because of the birth of our Saviour...the One who rescues us, defends us, comforts us, delivers us...because of Jesus, "darkness fell into the dawn of Love's light."
He "made His light shine in our hearts...in the face of Christ." That baby in the manger is our promise of hope...and light in the darkness.
Lord, You know every heart that is hurting. And You came to heal the hurts. Shine Your light into the darkness of this world. May every heart feel Your presence...Emmanuel, God With Us. Encourage us through Your Word so that "we do not lose heart." Help us not to be blinded by the trappings of Christmas, no matter how glittery and sparkly and twinkly, and miss out on the True Light...the One that came to save a world in need. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for Your great love. Help us to be ministers of that love to those in darkness. And bring on the dawn.