Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”. We sing songs about it, make special foods and hopefully spend time with our loved ones. Sometimes, though, it’s not wonderful…at all.

We all know that life happens in some of the most wonderful…and terrible ways.
The same life that brings us the joys of newborn snow or the first sounds of spring after a long cold winter also brings us pain and loss.

If you are struggling, the fun and excitement that often accompanies Christmas can make you feel more loss, more hurt and more pain.

If this is you or someone that you care about, I want to invite you to a different kind of Christmas event this Sunday evening at 5pm in the auditorium. Healing Christmas is a special Christmas service for those that may not love this season for whatever reason. It is a time of prayer and reflection, worship and remembrance, and a time to reimagine hope in the midst of sadness.

No matter what this season holds for you, know that we are held the hand of a Savior that understands you and your struggle. Isaiah correctly prophesied this about Jesus before He came to the earth as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)

Jesus not only understood that life is sometimes hard, He fully lived it.

During this Christmas season, know that He wants to bring you comfort, hope, and peace. We can trust Him in our times of need…even at Christmas.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV)

So, who should attend?

Those who are struggling.

You won’t be asked to name your struggle. In fact, you won’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You can simply sit and be with others. You can quietly pray or enthusiastically worship. You can reach out for encouragement or just slip in at the beginning and slip out again when you are ready. If you are struggling, come and be with us.

Those who want to encourage others.

It is a beautiful thing to encourage someone who is not in a wonderful season. This is what we call “ministry”. Helping to bind up the brokenhearted with the care of Jesus. Just being in the room can offer solace, a friendly face, a reminder that there is hope and love in this world. By worshiping fully and praying fervently, you can be an encouragement to others and be reminded that Jesus came to do something in us.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but not because of all of the parties, the presents, the decorations or festivities. It is the most wonderful time of the year because in our pain, a Savior has been born.

Pastor Mark

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