How is that everyone imagines everyone else’s Christmas is Christmas-card perfect – children happily playing together, older generations chatting nostalgically in front of the fire, carollers singing outside, everyone at peace with themselves and with the world?
We don’t talk about the homes where there is an empty seat this Christmas, or the families who will sit round a hospital bed instead of a Christmas dinner table, or the people sleeping on the street, or the single parents who can’t afford heating oil, or the people in prison with no one to visit them….
Why is that? Why do we think that Christmas has to be perfect?
The first Christmas wasn’t. The Baby was born in a dirty, smelly stable and among his first visitors were lowly shepherds. Things hadn’t worked out the way Mary and Joseph would have wanted. This was not what they had hoped and dreamed for. But Emmanuel had come – God was with them. And that made all the difference.
Whatever your Christmas is looking like – picture-perfect or less-than-perfect – Emmanuel is with you. And he wants to make a difference – in your life, in your family, in your home.
The Word became flesh. A virgin conceived. Life was born in the dark pocket of Mary’s womb. That same Life can enter the darkness of human impossibility in your life today… it requires an identification of the dark place, the personal poverty-pocket of your own experience, where the riches of the Lord need to enter. Jack Hayford.
Whatever your dark place this Christmas, whatever the personal poverty-pocket of your own experience, invite God in and let him make a difference. He understands the pain of your own personal dark place. And just as he shone his Light into the dark stable at Bethlehem, he wants to shine his Light into your dark place. Not to make it picture-perfect, but to make it a place where the Light shines – and the Light gives Life. When the Light of the world comes in, there is no more room for darkness.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5.