1 John 4:9
“This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”
Christmas Eve is on Sunday. For most of us, we approach the birth of our Lord and Savior as a time for celebration, joy, and of course a very special time with friends and family.
I deeply pray that you are joyfully anticipating the birth of Jesus and the greatest gift ever given!
However, for some of us, I realize that this year is not quite like other Christmas’ past.
Maybe you have lost a loved one this year or in years past and are navigating that difficult journey of figuring out what Christmas looks like this year. How do you celebrate and grieve at the same time?
Maybe you have lost a relationship with a family member or an important friend-either drifted apart or torn apart due to conflict.
Maybe you are approaching this Christmas season having been laid off, beginning a new job or career, or otherwise struggling to figure out what it is that God has in store for you in life.
Our scripture reminds us this week that God so desperately loves us that he sent his only Son to live among us, teach us, love us, model peace/joy/hope/love, and most importantly suffer and die for all our sins-paying the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
Christmas is a season of joy, hope, peace, and love. We celebrate each during separate weeks of advent so that we may be reminded weekly of all that Jesus brought into our world.
Christmas reminds us that God desperately loves us-God desperately loves you.
As we continue towards the Inn with a No Vacancy sign on Christmas Eve-remember what it took for Mary and Joseph to get there.
Nine months pregnant riding on a donkey through treacherous conditions.
Delivering in less than ideal conditions amidst the constant fear of the life of their newborn child.
Cultural shame and contempt.
Having to flee from their home to Egypt.
And we need to remember-the birth of Jesus wasn’t the end of their suffering and hardship-in many ways, it was just the beginning.
Yet Mary an Joseph trusted in God and continued to tell the world-do your worst-we know that God is with us and for us.
I was reminded of the time about 5 years ago that Jenna and I came home late one night and got locked out of our house in November when she was 8 months pregnant. We were only able to get into our back door into our basement but it was really cold outside, no blankets or bed to sleep on, no bathroom, and Landon was almost three.
I remember that feeling of not having a place to sleep while Landon slept comfortably on me wrapped in my jacket.
I couldn’t imagine being ready to deliver and having that feeling of having no place to go. We were locked out one night but it seemed like the world was ending.
While the birth of Jesus was a blessing to all of us-it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine for Mary and Joseph. In fact, what they endured is nothing short of amazing.
Know that I am praying for each and every one of you this Christmas.
I pray that in the midst of loss you are able to see hope. I pray in the midst of darkness you are able to see the light of Jesus. I pray that in the midst of uncertainty you can see peace. Finally, I pray that in the midst of heartache you are able to feel deeply the Love of God.
I hope you all have a happy and Merry Christmas. I also hope to see you all Sunday at 4 PM.-601 San Juan Ave in La Junta Colorado.
We have a wonderful service planned with scripture and song (including several VERY special performances you won’t want to miss).
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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