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MERRY CHRISTMAS


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." -- Isaiah 9: 6-7


As we gather, the Christmas spirit abounds in some households--while others struggle to find any joy at all. Indeed it's difficult to celebrate when you are suffering through loss, hunger, sadness. It's difficult to be joyful when far from friends and loved one's. So then, in difficult times, what is the true meaning of Christmas? What is Christmas in an idealized (and increasingly commercialized) season?


When struggling, we are commanded to seek out God's Word, not man's. We know, through the Gospel of Matthew, that Jesus was born in difficult times: there was tremendous pain and loss. Herod had ordered the Massacre of the Innocents, Mary and Joseph had to flee to save their unborn child--only to find "no room at the inn."


Yet, in this difficult time--surrounded by death, destruction, sadness, pain, poverty, hunger, homelessness--there was joy. The Birth of Jesus happened. The Star of Bethlehem guided the Magi to Jesus. (A Great Conjunction in heaven, and on earth) When the Magi brought gold, frankincense, myrrh they weren't celebrating the presents, or the manger. They were bringing presents to celebrate the true gift: Jesus. Life.


Jesus was born and life--goodness and light--came into this world (despite/ in spite of difficult times). So, it's important to recognize that Gift--and that, even in difficult times, Mary and Joseph, (we) were/are never alone. God prevails, He sees us, and is with us, even when we feel we are most alone.


Read Matthew 1:18-2:23. Read the Psalm 23. Then, read Matthew 1:18-2:23 again.


Merry Christmas, Family.

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