November and December are stressful months for me at work. It is great to have Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the real significance of these days are often lost in the shuffle of daily pressures. When I start to feel this way, I must remind myself that I COULD NOT BE MORE BLESSED!
Christmastime is stressful for many—even believers. I get it! So many feel financial pressure to buy gifts; are reminded of rifts between family and friends; and they feel the full depth of emptiness in their souls because they do not have the blessing of Jesus’ “living water” in their lives.
It takes deliberate prayer and reflection on God’s grace to even begin grasp the magnitude of Jesus’ entry into broken humanity. You and I know the Christmas story and I can recite it pretty much verbatim, but when was the last time you really prayed for peace, rest, and understanding to absorb God’s amazing gift and grace?
As I write this I can think of three DCC members and one neighbor (two are mothers of young children) who are battling cancer. I can think of several who are battling other significant obstacles in their lives. One dear Brother in Christ is in hospice. My heart aches for the family of Ken Jones, whose wife will experience Christmas without their husband and father because of a tragic fall fighting a structure fire earlier this month. I struggle to answer, “Why?” It seems so unfair!
Christmas is the first earthy revelation of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. I am not worthy of any of these, but still (you and) I can receive the gift of life! Enjoy the Christmas season for all it’s worth. Praise Jesus for my daughter who makes the house look like Christmas and ensures Christmas carols are prominent.
No matter what is happening in your life, rejoice in the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love of Jesus. The fourth to last paragraph in the Bible says, “Whoever is thirsty, let them come; and whoever wishes, let them take the FREE GIFT of the water of life.” A FREE GIFT that really means something! That is my prayer for you and our church this Christmas season. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come!” (Rev 22:17, slightly rearranged).
Bruce Butler, elder