November 30, 2022
A Different Kind of Christmas
December 21, 2023 | Leah Lynch
“It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year.”
But, what if it’s not? What if, for you, Christmas looks different this year?
Why is it, when we’re talking about “the most wonderful time of the year,” it doesn’t always feel that way? Maybe it’s the busyness, increased demands, or added expectations. Maybe your family, like mine, has been walking through a season of change and there’s a lot that looks and feels different. Maybe you or someone you love is dealing with illness. Maybe you’re walking into a fresh start or a new beginning, but you’re wrestling with doubts. Your mind waits in anticipation for everything to fall apart again, because your track record says, that’s what always happens. Maybe you’re facing this season with profound grief and the thought of one more “be of good cheer,” feels like it will break you.
Let’s be honest, Christmas can be hard.
The first Christmas surely was. It wasn’t at all what the people were hoping for. What they got was unexpected, uncomfortable, frightening, and at times, painful. God’s people had faced 400 years of silence and captivity. Can you imagine the desperation, the cries? They had been promised a king, but when the announcement finally came, Mary and Joseph weren’t exactly royalty material. There were so many unknowns. The circumstances surrounding the first Christmas were hard.
But God had plans. He always does. Good plans. Perfect plans. In the middle of it all, He shows up.
What if we take a moment to flip the script? What if Christmas does look different this year? Not because circumstantially things are different, but because of hope.
In our house I have a piece of wall art that says, “Hope changes everything.” More than 2,000 years ago, hope showed up in the form of a tiny baby. Amidst hardship and hurt, uncertainty and desperation, God flipped the expected script. He sent Jesus.
Hope doesn’t eradicate the pain, yet it speaks to us in the middle of it. It walks through the thick of it with us. Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” No matter where we find ourselves this Christmas, or in life, no matter what we are facing, we have hope. This hope is Jesus…
…and Jesus changes everything.