The sanctuary is decorated. Christmas carols are on the stereo. The Packers have their first win in a month. God is on His throne! And yet, in spite of all that, a sense of melancholy invades. It has been a year of change. Much good – some bad. Many people endure this same sense of conflicting emotions around the holidays as they try to celebrate but never fully enter into the celebration. What can help?
Well, we can recognize that life goes on. If bad comes, so does good. If sorrow comes, so does joy. If pain comes, so does relief. If it can get worse, it can also get better! We need to heed the words of Solomon: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
We can also realize that we have hope. Peter reminds us of all that we gain through our belief in Jesus Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.”
And finally, we can rejoice that we are not alone. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I truly hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.