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This Christmas…

It’s Christmas and all is merry and bright, right? 

Maybe…or maybe not. As we close out another pandemic year, this Christmas may not be all cheery and festive. It’s been a heavy autumn in our household. My Dad passed in November and then three days after his funeral, we had to put down our beloved pet rabbit, Whiskers. I don’t think I’ve even begun to process any of it. 

Maybe you feel less than Christmas-sy this year too. It’s okay. 

Perhaps this year you feel like celebrating which is awesome. Go and make it a brighter Christmas for someone else. 

Honestly, I don’t think there is a right way to be or feel. We’re all in different circumstances. But one thing I’ve been reflecting on is Christmas isn’t the presents or feasts or decorations. We know this but it’s still hard not to beat ourselves up if we’re not measuring up to our own expectations or those of the world around us. However, if this year you don’t want to “do” Christmas, you don’t have to because Christmas isn’t in those outward things. Christmas is Jesus. Emmanuel. The name means God with us. Isn’t that comforting in these uncertain times? In these sad days? And in the festivities?

Jesus is with us today wherever we’re at—in the throes of merry-making, or in the bone-crushing grief of the loss of a loved one, a dream, or the pain of this weary world. We don’t have to be in the Christmas spirit for him to come. In our grief, pain, and cheer, all we have to do is invite him to come close and He will. He’ll be there in the sad, lonely, times and in the good, joyous ones too.

Emmanuel—God with us. 

My wish for you (and myself) this Christmas is that we will experience His presence in a transforming way. That the good news, that was for all people, would change us and draw us closer to our Heavenly Father, who sent His only Son for us. Why? Out of love for us. 

We are not alone. Emmanuel. 

And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 NASB