Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmastime is here.

Isn't it the worst when bad stuff happens at Christmastime? 
Car accidents, miscarriages, lay-offs, break-ups, death, bankruptcy- the real emergency room scare, ugly headlines in the newspaper kind of stuff. 
It sucks all the time, but doesn't it just really suck at Christmas? 
Like you can't wrap that up and stick a bow on it or cover it in frosting and sprinkles, so it just doesn't belong. 

(Hi, I'm Keri and I'm the worst at blogging. Because nothing says Merry Christmas like this doom and gloom blog post. Nice to meet you.) 

This year, in the midst of all of the Christmas fun that comes with sweet kids, fun plans and presents all hidden away and wrapped up in the basement, we've also seen a whole lot of tragedy come to so many of the people that we love. 

As we've prayed for our friends and grieved for so many from so far away, there's fresh reality in the  miracle of God sending His Son to a world so stained by sin and hurt because His love for us is that deep and that strong. 

Because He knew that we would face days that are dark and rotten. He knew that we would face things that our souls just weren't meant for; things too big and too painful to face alone. 
He knew that we would be assaulted with loneliness. 
He knew that we would see loved ones die. 
He knew that we would have days filled with tears. 
He knew that we would have hopes that were unfulfilled. 
He knew.

So He came. 
God with us, Emmanuel. 
It's no small thing. It's more than a Christmas carol.  
It's a life-giving, perspective changing truth that anchors our souls in hope. 

In the same way that God told Joshua "I will be with you, I will not forsake you," in a promise of strength and courage to Joshua in the midst of insurmountable odds against him, His coming tells us the same thing-
God is with me, and God is with you. 
In the same way that He walked through a fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He walks the impossible steps of faith and life with us. 

So, like so many saints and sojourners of old,
we experience that tension of grief and pain 
mixed with hope and glory.
And we're needy in this season of advent;
looking to a land and a country that's so much better than the one we have,
rejoicing because God made a way for us in the birth and death of His Son. 
That's Christmas. 

We glory because we have hope-
our Savior King is with us, and He's a warrior and friend. 

"Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you,
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, 
And deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
Isaiah 60

Merry Christmas, friends. 
Because God is with us.