Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
Christmas can be a hard time for people who have lost their loved ones to death, especially if it occurs during the month of December. I can remember when my own Dad died in December of 2002. It was in the midst of all the preparations for Christmas and my heart sank because of my loss. I saw all of the decorations and listened to all of the carols, but my heart could not experience most of the joy. It was a sad time of year for me and even though years have passed since his death, I still feel part of my grief at Christmas.
However, like the psalmist of old, I also feel the comfort that God offers through His promises. Death does not have the final word and, through the shared hope of faith in Jesus Christ, my losses turn into victories and my grief can be transformed into gladness.
I know that the emptiness of grief is still there, but as time goes by, it is gradually being replaced with a fullness of Christ’s love that can overcome any joylessness that I temporarily feel. He is born within me each Christmas, so I renew and rededicate my life, my loved ones, and also my losses to Him. Jesus is my Comforter and Savior, Hope Bringer and Healer, my Shepherd and Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, some of us are going through sad times and our hearts are heavy because of the losses that we still experience. We know that You weep with us and carry our cares. Help us to place our pain into Your palms and give over our emptiness to Your full embrace. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is a winter scene from John’s hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. It depicts snow falling on Sauchiehall (socky-hall) Street. A larger version of this “Snow on Sauchie” can be found at the following link: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5202/5251919500_14a1397bf8_b.jpg