A few weeks ago, I mentioned in one of my sermons the reality of change during the Christmas season. Now, of course, I am not referring to the true meaning of Christmas; that never changes! But as we get older, Christmas changes in the ways in which we celebrate it, the people that we get to be with, the places in which we go, and even the foods in which we eat.
I loved celebrating Christmas as a child with my family that I grew up in. It wasn’t because of the amount of presents I received, but it was because of the amount of love
that my parents expressed to their children. They loved us enough to always remind us of the true meaning of Christmas; they loved us enough to help us see the value of giving to others, not just receiving for ourselves; and they loved us enough to demonstrate before our eyes kindness and thoughtfulness to others. As a child, I celebrated Christmas with my mom and dad and my siblings, but that has changed.
I am not able to be with my parents any longer at Christmas. They are with the Lord. Yes, I miss them, but I do not wish they were still with me. They have completed their race and they are resting in the presence of Jesus. But God is so good to me that He has given me new people to be with to celebrate Christmas. When I was a child, I always hoped that I would find a girl to marry one day and spend the rest of my life with. I hoped there would be a day that I would have kids. And as God gave me a wife and children, I prayed that one day my children would find spouses to marry and have children of their own. God has done all of that for me!!! I now get to celebrate Christmas with all these people in my family.
I am thankful for God’s kindness to me, but I do know that there are still times of loneliness and missing those that you cannot be with. My oldest son, daughter-in-law, and one of my grandchildren are not able to be with us for Christmas. I miss them, but this is part of the changes that take place in life that are heightened in our lives during the Christmas season. So, whether there are some of your loved ones who are no longer with you or are maybe on the other side of the world, just know that Christmas does change, but the real meaning of Christmas never does. Our Savior came to earth, took on flesh, saved us from our sin, and in that gives us a future and a hope. Let’s remember that this Christmas season! Let’s not focus on the change, or our loss. Let’s thank God for our future and hope that we have for all of eternity and for the new year to come in 2023!!!
I love you and I love being your pastor