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A Reminder for Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the nativity scene as seen in Revelation chapter 12. A war waged between a woman and a dragon, one which has raged since the garden and continues to this day, but which was won by Christ once and for all. The victory is won, but the battle still rages. Unfortunately, though, the day which we are about the celebrate, the birth of Christ which would spell the beginning of the end for the dragon is one which the dragon sets aside each year as a particular and brutal battleground. As we begin to usher in the final hours before Christmas, I would like to give you two simple encouragements.
Firstly, if you are afflicted by loneliness, hurt, memories, family conflict, loss, doubt, depression, or indeed you find yourself alone and with no one to celebrate with. Please know that you are not alone. I have been in your position and many others are too. Please reach out to someone and let them know what you are going through and don’t hold back. If you truly do not have anyone to contact, or even if you do but you need more serious help at this time, can I encourage you to take a brave step today and contact one of the following hotlines.
UK Samaritans: 116 123
USA Samaritans: 800 273 8255
Your feelings are valid, are important, and should not be ignored. What’s more, if you feel like these feelings are somehow in contradiction with your faith, please know that is simply not the case. As I’ve detailed before, we are at war with the devil and he loves nothing more than to harm you and then encourage you to stay isolated so that you remain alone within his grasp. Do not give him a foothold.
Therapy is not a sin. Needing help is not a sign of your lack of faith. Needing help is a sign that you’re human. Adam was made a helpmate for that very purpose, not because of how great he was, but because he was unable to perform the task of being human, being an image bearer, without fellow humans with whom to do so.
Secondly, if you are someone who could not love Christmas more, if you’re enjoying some mulled wine right now, sitting by the fire, watching a Muppet’s Christmas Carol thinking how absurd it is that Scrooge could ever hate Christmas. Can I encourage you to remember those who are on the frontlines of the battle right now. Maybe you know some, perhaps they’ve been on your mind but you’ve not known what to say or what to do, so you’ve left the thought alone. Can I encourage you further, could you pick up the phone and message that person? Or call? In all honesty, they will probably act as though they’re fine and will thank you cordially for the message, and wish you a Merry Christmas. You don’t know how much it could really mean to them. Take it from someone who has spent their fair share of Christmasses alone, even in the presence of others, it’s a really, really hard time. A message makes all the difference.
Finally, this Christmas Eve, let us remember Eve. Through the pain of childbirth, she hoped for the Advent, the coming, of her saviour. Even after her son Abel died, she hoped beyond hope for her son Seth, but she would never see that hope come into its fullness. She was not alone in this hope, through pain, the women of Israel bore children, midwives were even willing to put their lives on the line because they knew that one day the Saviour of the world would come. Mary would finally bear the pain which would bring forth the prophecied son, Immanuel, God with us. As we go through our own share of pains this Christmas, let us remember that our Saviour has already come, has died for us, and has ascended into heaven and is now interceding on our behalf. The day is dark, but the future is bright.
Grace and Peace,