Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Although my postings have been sporadic at best lately, I thought it was time to at least write something as we are approaching Christmas. It really is the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it? There is nothing better than spending time with family, singing Christmas carols and watching the face of loved ones as they open their gifts on Christmas morning. It is a joyful time for most.

However we should never forget that there are many people who don't have the privilege of experiencing such things. There are a lot of people out there who either don't have family to spend the holidays with or would rather experience a root canal with no Novocaine than spend time with the family they do have. Then there are those with family that they know and love but because of a slowed economy, they will forgo gift giving in lieu of just trying to keep their heads above water and simply pay the bills.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Do hard times, broken relationships and trials erase the good news of great joy that is announced by the angel? A closer look at the New Testament would indicate that hard times and struggle are to be expected in this life. The good news of great joy is not deliverance from all pain, heartache and struggle in this world. The good news is that the Savior is born. He is the One who has overcome the world. This good news involves a reality beyond this world. It's a reality that can bring peace in the midst of even the greatest struggle.

Does the truth mentioned above absolve us from any obligation to those who are experiencing these difficult times? Absolutely not, it actually puts more weight on those who would call themselves Christ followers. We would all do well to remember that this good news of great joy is often made known through those who know the Savior.

Let's not forget those around us who are struggling during the holidays. We should all look for opportunities to reach out to those in need. Maybe you could invite someone in your home who would otherwise be alone this Christmas. Give a gift to someone who is struggling or volunteer time at one of the many local organizations that are serving those in need.

In doing so we just might have the opportunity to bring good news of great joy to those who desperately need it right now