I don’t know about you, but I find the onslaught of media hype that assails us at this time of year pretty overwhelming. The dazzling bright lights and tinsel of adverts for every conceivable thing that we “MUST have for Christmas” seem to confront us almost everywhere we look. They beckon and call out to us from our TV and computer screens, newspapers and magazines, billboards and shop windows and, even as Christians, if we’re not careful we can easily be sucked into it all, and lose sight of the true reason for our celebrations.
But, for those who are suffering: struggling with sickness or tormented in their thought life, those who are perhaps fearing the prospect of Christmas alone or grieving a loss, or those who have lost hope because of the losses, the glittering images and sparkling displays hold nothing. For all their brilliance and splendour and all they might promise, they are unable to deliver true hope or joy or peace in the place of pain and suffering.
In stark contrast, the God who came down from heaven into the darkness of this world in the form of a tiny baby on that first Christmas Day still delivers on His promise: bringing true light into the darkness of broken hearts today. He doesn’t come brashly with false light as the world does. He, who is our Creator God, King of kings and Lord of lords comes in humility, with gentleness and tenderness. He comes with the true light of real hope into the darkness of the lives of those who are open to receive Him. The joy He brings isn’t loud and garish. It’s a deep inner joy that wells up through the hope He brings to hopelessness, through the peace He brings to turmoil and the healing He brings to brokenness.
If you are struggling with painful issues in your life, if you are feeling that sense of loneliness or perhaps walking through a time of grief, even hopelessness, I encourage you today not to allow the false light and transient joy the world offers at this time of year, to exacerbate your pain. Instead, take courage and invite the true Light of the World to come into those dark areas in your life. Be honest with Him about the pain and struggle, so that He can bring the warmth of His comfort and wonder of His joy to your heart. The glitz the world offers is nothing compared to what He brings. His is the true message of Christmas.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus, the true Light into the darkness all those years ago, and thank You that You still want to come today with the light of Your comfort and healing into the dark and painful areas of our lives. Please help me today to invite You into those places in me where I carry hurt and pain, that are triggered especially at this time of year. I want to receive the true comfort and healing and know Your peace and joy in my heart. In Jesus` name, Amen.
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