Posts Tagged ‘Death Christmas’

Consolation And Celebration At Christmas

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

mangerAs I’ve listened to news reports from Newtown, Connecticut, where the elementary school massacre took place, I’ve heard reporters say this tragedy is made worse because it has occurred at Christmas. Several families in the community are even taking down their Christmas decorations because they just don’t see how they can celebrate Christmas now. If I were one of those parents or grandparents, I’m sure I would be tempted to do the same thing.

However, what’s the “celebration” of Christmas all about? It’s a moment we set aside to rejoice in the wonder of God becoming a man. That’s what we’re celebrating.  However, He didn’t just come to live as a man. He didn’t come to earth as the God/Man to see what it was like to live as a human being. He was born so he could die “that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”  Hebrews 2:14-15.

When we are dealing with the sorrow of losing a loved one at Christmas, we can console ourselves and celebrate at the same time because Jesus came to do away with death. Isaiah 25:8 says, “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”

In the gospels, there is both rejoicing and weeping as the story of Jesus’ birth is told. Luke says the shepherds were glorifying and praising God, while Matthew says there was weeping and loud lamentation when Herod ordered all the children two years and under to be slaughtered.

Besides the sorrow of death this Christmas, there will be the sorrow of loneliness, of rejection, of disappointment, and of suffering. Yet, consolation comes through celebrating Emmanuel, God with us.

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