For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Luke 2:8-11
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Sometimes Christmas isn’t jolly or merry. Spirits sag because someone may be away from home and unable to spend the holiday with loved ones. Illness doesn’t stop because we celebrate. I can remember a few Christmases when I was sick or my kids were. Mom spent Christmas in the hospital one year. When our grandson Eli was born, he and his mommy and daddy celebrated in the maternity ward. I think about the folks who work in health care and public service, who sacrifice to care for people. I’ve never worked retail, but I can imagine the holidays may not be pleasant with all the shoppers on the prowl for the perfect gift at the perfect price.

Even as I contemplate the sadness and stress that can surround the holidays, I know the message the angels carried to the shepherds makes all the difference. They didn’t just say Merry Christmas. Instead, they brought good news of great joy. A joy that overcomes all weariness, sadness, and pain. As I go through the season, I want to share God’s love and joy by saying a kind word, thanking people for their service, hugging those who need encouragement and praying for those in need. Jesus is not only the reason for the season; he’s the joy in my heart.

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