Get your hankie out for this one!
Are homecomings wonderful?
My daughter and son-in-law are flying from Rhode Island this very moment. We haven’t seen them since July, and the time together will fly.
Tonight we’re having our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with Steve’s dear mom. Church later tonight, of course. And tomorrow, in between present opening, a full brunch and another big family dinner with my folks and brother’s family.
Such treasured moments!
But I know that not everyone is going to be having a warm, family-centered Christmas this year.
At church last Sunday, we had an interesting benediction. A long line of people carrying cardboard signs stood, one by one, in front of the congregation. On one side of the cardboard was written (in big bold letters) a particular battle the individual had been fighting. On the other side…how an encounter with Christ changed him/her.
For example: “Addicted to Alcohol.” Flipped over: “Sober for 2 years!”
Or…”Heading to divorce.” Flipped over: “Marriage healed.”
The music was beautiful last week, the sermon was a good one, but I will never, ever forget those silent messages that spoke of an encounter with Christ. Everyone around me was wiping tears off their cheeks. Including me.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
When Jesus entered the world, after four hundred years of silence, the world heard from God. The people were not forgotten. God had spoken.
The angel of the Lord appeared to the most humble people of all–the shepherds. He went to the commoner, the worker, those who would come to Jesus with only tired bodies and empty hands. To those he brought great joy. To those he said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m bringing you good news. I have not forgotten you.”
God had spoken. A child had been born. For you. For me.
I hope you can meet Jesus Christ with fresh eyes this Christmas. I hope you will be open to having an encounter with Him. You’ll never be the same.
And may your next 24 hours be blessed.