Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rejoice, o weary world!

I don’t know how this Christmas finds you.  A house filled with loved ones, or longing to hold the hand of a love that's passed…all your wishes under the tree, or wondering how you’ll make ends meet…peace in your home, or greed- gripped hearts stirring fights...crossing off your favorite to-do’s, or swapping out the fun for cleaning up vomit and washing mounds of soiled laundry…reflecting on the graces of a year past and the hope of a year to come, or far from home unsure of what tomorrow holds...

This time of year is funny like that.
We listen to the carols Have a holly, jolly Christmas and It's the most wonderful time of the year.  Yet, for some, that is so very far from reality.
Can a Christmas still be merry? 
You may have nothing to unwrap, and yet everything to receive and embrace.  OR, you may have everything you wished for, yet settling to delight in the gift rather than the Giver.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices!
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born…
Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name!
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Have you ever thought about those words...truly, let them sink down deep?
We have so much to celebrate!  
Even when this time is not what we would have planned.  
It’s not about what is happening around us.  
But the Hope beyond this, the Joy within.  His joy, my strength.

*This* is how a Christmas can still be merry.  God is WITH us.
Wherever you are.  However you are, He is near those who call on His name.

    I am overcome with joy because of Your unfailing love,
for You have seen my troubles,
and You care about the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 31.7

May this Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace be as near and dear to you as you are to Him.

Wishing you a very merry celebration of the greatest Gift!
With care, Andy.Sara.Miles.Jack.Jude

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