Christmas 2022 feels different. Illness and the separation it can create continues to be a complication. Friendships and family relationships are being strained. The economy seems uncertain, finances are stretched to capacity, and physical & mental health issues persist.
For some, this Christmas will be hard. There will be empty seats at the table. There are empty pieces in our hearts. Worries that weigh heavily on the mind and the burdens that are carried today, will still be there on December 26th.
For others, just the idea of Christmas brings the hope of relief…even if just for a moment. There is anticipation that on Christmas, at least for a day, all might seem right with the world. We just know – or at least hope – that something good, something big, something amazing, is just around the corner. There will be time to reflect, time to rejoice, and time to just be among the people we love.
Regardless of how you are processing this Christmas season, remember these words from Zephaniah.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
Our joy is not fleeting or based just on this moment. Our hope is built on truth and a foundation of faith. God is in our midst. Christ was born in Bethlehem and did walk among us. He lived, He died, and He rose again! Because of Him, our sin has been forgiven and our debt has been paid. And one day, He will return!
He rejoices over you…on the good days, on the hard days, and every day in between. He will be able to calm you and He will always welcome you into His tender arms. This world may seem upside down, and for sure no one knows what tomorrow will hold. But remember this promise and hold strong to your faith… The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.