WHAT CHRISTMAS REALLY MEANS
La versión en español está disponible aquí.
We usually associate Christmas and end-of-year festivities with joy. We see an overflow of content in our social feeds that shows the perfect side of the season. Happy posts. Shopping. Food. Events. Many reasons to be thankful joyful. To us, the Christmas season brings joy and excitement, and with our little ones is even more fun as we get to experience it all through their eyes.
But today I want to share a deeper truth about the story behind these festivities. A word of encouragement to those who didn’t have the best year. A thought to bring comfort to the broken hearted.
A year ago, three days before Christmas’ Eve we received terrible news. My husband’s boss, mentor and friend had suddenly lost his wife. We had just seen her a few weeks before at my husband’s holiday company party. She was a young woman, full of life. A caring mother, a loving wife with an unforgettable smile.
The shock of the news broke our hearts. To see our friend and his young son mourning such a devastating sudden loss, immediately drew us closer to God. We remembered how fragile we are. We remembered what the Bible says in James 4:14: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
We didn’t even asked God why. We knew we were not going to get an answer that makes sense, because these tragedies simply have no logical explanation. We prayed for this family, asking our Lord Jesus Christ to embrace them with His love and peace in times of such deep pain and anxiety. We cried with them and we laid ourselves in God’s hands, willing to be used to somehow bring comfort and offer support.
Around those days we found ourselves very sad (and we still feel sad when we remember them), with an urge to reassess our lives individually and as a family. We remembered that Christmas time doesn’t bring happiness and joy to everybody. In fact, in my mom’s family there have been two losses between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so I know these are not the easiest times for her either. In my beloved Venezuela, there’s hunger, sickness and loss of hope in the midst of the worst times the country has been through.
My dad’s family just experienced the hurdle of a long-time sickness of a dear family member, my uncle. He passed away 12 days ago. So we know that this is not a happy month of the year for my grandparents, my uncles and ants, and for many of you who have experienced loss, sickness, trials, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
While the circumstances are be sad for many, it is of upmost importance that we understand that the meaning behind Christmas goes beyond everything we think, believe and understand: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The event that took place in Bethlehem, that divided the history of humankind in two parts, represents the fulfillment of a promise, a prophecy in which God the Father let us know that he would send his only Son to save our souls from spiritual death. From an eternity away from Him.
"For a child is born to us, A son is given to us; And the government Is upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace " Isaiah 9:6
God became a man to walk with us on earth for some time, to teach us face to face what the Word of God means, and surrender Himself to die in a cross and pay for all our sins. An atrocious, absolutely unfair and horrific death: He suffered an unimaginable pain for love (John 3:16). His sacrifice was necessary so that God could forgive our sins and look at you and me with grace, and therefore reestablish a direct communication with each one of us, trough Christ.
With death and resurrection you and I have direct access to God, our Heavenly Father, to eternal life, if we only accept the biggest gift we could ver receive: that Jesus, His son is our Redeemer and that we are saved by grace. That’s the real Christmas. That’s what and why we celebrate. His birth was the first step in the fulfillment of the eternal salvation plan.
If you had a difficult year or you are going through the worst storm in your life, I want to tell you that I’ll be praying for you, so that God may bring comfort to your heart, and embrace you and give you His peace that exceeds all understanding (Philippians 4:7). That you may be able to lift up your eyes and count on Him, open a direct dialogue and welcome a new year with the hope of a new day, with His support and promises of restoration after whatever you are going through.
I pray that next year you can celebrate Christmas focused on the reason for the season, which doesn’t change under any circumstance (Hebrews 13:8) as it is an eternal absolute truth.
Shoot me a message with your prayer request. It’s my commitment to bring before God’s throne whatever it is that you need.