A Grown Up Christmas List

Another Christmas is about to come…and go. Another page will turn on the calendar in just a few days. For most of us life continues on just as it was. However, for more than a few, life in the new year holds the promise (?) of health challenges, unresolved family issues, financial crises, and concerns about houses that are failing. While the songs we hear and the Christmas carols we sing promise joy, peace, and hope, for many those are just words that remind them of what they have lost or for some that which they have never had!
In less than 24 hours most of us will have exchanged gifts, and have shared a meal with family and friends. Some will experience disappointment – again – and others will be satisfied beyond description with all they have received. Some families will experience relief because the tension of family gatherings are over. Some will experience pangs of nostalgia and grief, longing for those who are no longer present.
Regardless of how we experience Christmas there are several things we hold to – in pain and grief and in joy and contentment. First, the fact that Jesus – God in the flesh, Emmanuel – has come reminds us that as comfortable as we may be here this world is not the final destination for those who have placed their trust in God. Second, the arrival of Christmas Day is an annual reminder that God keeps His promises. The Apostle Paul, an early first-century follower of Jesus, wrote these words: “For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him.” (2 Corinthians 1:20, HCSB).
Finally, the conclusion of Advent – the season of waiting – contains a promise. Just as the world waited the birth of Jesus so we who are believers wait for His return. Our wait is not in vain. Our waiting is not built on empty hopes and failed promises, but rather on the generations of God’s promises to His people and the clear evidence in God’s Word of His power to fulfill all He promised!

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