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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

It's here again. What many call, "the most wonderful time of the year". I love the Christmas season. There are many things that make me feel like it's all so wonderful. I love taking the kids on a drive to look at all the Christmas lights. I love decorating the house and the setting up the tree. I love the giving of gifts to show someone how much they mean to you. I love the Christmas cards. I love sitting with my wife, Amy, on the couch at night in front of the lit Christmas tree with warm beverages just sharing memories. For many reasons, it may feel like the most wonderful time of the year filled with joy and expectation.

But that's not everyone's experience. Many are facing this season with very different hopes and expectations. But Jesus didn't come to earth just for those who think this season is all wonderful. He came for those experiencing darkness. The prophet Isaiah foretells a child being born who will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. To whom does he come? "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2)

Jesus, the child born to be wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, is born into a world of suffering and darkness. He ministered among the poor and broken-hearted. He came to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. So maybe, the hope of Christmas isn't as much about it being the most wonderful time of the year, but about the most wonderful news when our world is darkest.

So this Christmas season, let's remember the meaning of Christmas--God coming to be with us and be reconciled to us through our darkest times. So to the person grieving the pain of loss this Christmas season, Jesus has come. To the family struggling to make ends meet and makes do with less, Jesus has come. To the person burned out with stress and anxiety, Jesus has come. To those battling depression, Jesus has come. To the family stuck at home with COVID, Jesus has come. To the families breaking apart, Christ has come. To the oppressed, the refugees, the hungry, the sick, Jesus has come!

This Christmas season, I pray we are able to truly celebrate our Savior's birth and the arrival of God With Us. As we do so, let's remember to pray for those who are suffering around us. Jesus came for them! Jesus came for us. Come again, Lord Jesus, and finish your healing work on earth!

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