Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Blessing of Tragedy at Christmas

Chaney family tree 2014

This morning we sipped coffee in the dark during our weekly morning prayer when my friend Sarah told us that she had written something but didn't know what to do with it. She had something to say, I have a little venue here, so....  introducing guest blogger Sarah Sherry!  Whether you're distracted by the joy and busy-ness of large family gatherings or if the quiet of the holidays deepens your sense of grief and loss, these words are for you.  Thankful for the encouragement today.  Come back any time, Sarah!

The Blessing of Tragedy at Christmas

As Christians, we are known for espousing the "True Meaning of Christmas." Let's not forget it's about Jesus, right? The lighting of the Advent candles remind us each week that Jesus brought Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. 

Now, over the years, Christmas-time has become synonymous with Family-time. I will be the first to sing the joys of Christmas with all of my family around! Parents, siblings, my husband, my children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews - the more the merrier, right!?! 

But, Christians beware! Even this noble and righteous pursuit of familial bliss is not what Christmas is about. If all goes right, it can increase our Joy and give us an opportunity to share our Love. Togetherness can give us a glimpse at the Kingdom. But, it isn't the main purpose. 

Now, to the title of my little rambling. How can tragedy at Christmas be a blessing? It seems SO particularly SAD when we have to deal with illness, strife, loneliness, and loss at Christmas. But, that's only if we see Family-time as the main purpose of the season. 

Let us remember the first two candles: Hope and Peace. Jesus brought the miracles of hope and peace to this world! And around the corner is Easter, when we remember the promise of hope and peace in the world to come. It is a certain future for those who believe!

There is hope in the midst of death. There is peace in the midst of war. There is joy in the midst of pain. There is love in the midst of loneliness. And Jesus is the reason. 

So why is tragedy a blessing at Christmas? Because at this time of year we are celebrating the birth of the one who brought us a future worthy of hope, worthy of peace, worthy of joy, and worthy of love. That future is there, regardless of what we are dealing with now. 

Sarah L. Sherry

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