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Why Jesus' Birth Gives Us Hope, Despite the Sadness of Christmas

It is this time of year again when the pain of the loss of my husband is more intense. Although I have come a long way, it is still painful and hard to be full of joy this time of year. I attended a grief group the other night and realized just how much healing I still have to go through. Something struck me that was said, "Christmas is about suffering. It is why Jesus had to come." That got me thinking completely differently about my sadness this year. When I look at Christmas lights this year, I now see the Savior's light, and that brings me joy. Instead of being sad that it is another year, another reminder that my husband is not hanging Christmas lights on the house, or spending an evening with the family getting donuts and traveling around looking at Christmas displays, my heart now is refocused on the light of the world. "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12, NIV).

The reason we celebrate Christmas is because the world is broken and lost and we need our savior! Just like it was in the days of Malachi when there was no documented word of God for 400 years until the manuscripts of Matthew took place. Or the seven hundred years the world waited for the prophecy of Jesus's birth that Isaiah preached on to be fulfilled. Hope that the light of the world would be born to save us from our sorrow. Now we look forward to Jesus's second Advent, when he comes once and for all to wipe every tear from our eyes and to reunite us with our loved ones who have gone ahead. The Advent season is a reminder that we suffer because we need Jesus. Christmas is about suffering and praise be to our God that he sent his only begotten son to save us from our sins!

So it is okay that I am sad and it is okay if you are sad too. I know many people who are in the midst of deep suffering right now. I pray they will look up and remember this is not the end. There is hope because our savior was born in a manger 2,023 years ago and he is coming back! Just as he was promised to come in the days of Isaiah and reign on David's throne, (Is. 9:6-7 ) he was promised to return on the clouds and gather his people (Mark 14:62).

Take heart that there will be a day when the suffering will cease and you will be reunited with your loved ones that have gone before you. This year when you see the lights, may it bring joy to your heart that Jesus has come and he is coming again!

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