SUNDAY: DECEMBER 2
Written by Loren Sanders
Jer. 33:14-16, Psalms 25:1-10, 1 Thes. 3:9-13, Luke 21:25-36
'Tis The Season
Ah the holidays, the time when our normal stress turns to holiday stress. The season of giving, family arguments, credit card bills, and people who want more from you and of you. This supposed season of cheer leaves many folks feeling more Grinchy than Grateful.
How do you navigate holiday time as a Christian? The world seems to be focused on excess and here you are trying to bear good fruit. There is temptation around every corner with parties, food, drinks, and presents. It’s easy to get sucked in.
Christmas was my favorite holiday until last year. In fact, the past year has made the holiday season especially difficult. I lost my little sister on 9/6/17. This day will be forever etched in my memory. My family will never be the same. Holiday stress.
Today a friend sent me a text that said: do you ever notice yourself getting bad again? Neglecting work that needs to get done, not cleaning the house, and making bad decisions-I know what I need to do and I just can’t. Stress.
Life can change at any time; in the blink of an eye or over a long and rough period of time. Jesus teaches us that in the verses for this week.
The situation is dire and armies are advancing on Jerusalem. Jeremiah is in prison and the worst is yet to come. There is a sense of gloom and doom all around- what has been prophesied is coming to pass. But there is a sign of hope. Hope that tells us if we follow God’s plan and trust in him then we can triumph over everything. Our sins are forgiven; our path can change. It isn’t easy. It takes work, diligence and a whole lot of humility to put your total trust in Jesus. It takes inner strength to be kind and compassionate to others when you feel like crap. But we are called to do just that. And when Jesus comes back and people are “fainting with fear”, Jesus tells us to “lift up our heads because redemption is drawing near”.
Knowing this, we can be confident in not getting sucked in to what everyone else is doing this holiday season. And, if we feel overwhelmed, we have a God who, if we simply ask, has the power to radically change our hearts and our paths.