|Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Celebrating Christmas”
Our Bible verse for today: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and we didn’t value him. Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:3-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Jesus was familiar with pain and grief.”
At Christmastime, as the majority of us are celebrating and enjoying the season, we should remember that for some people Christmas is not a joyful season. Some are alone, and their sense of loneliness is only heightened as they see everyone else enjoying good times with family and friends. Others have recently lost a loved one and this will be the first Christmas without them. Some people carry with them painful memories from childhood experiences surrounding Christmas, memories that continue to haunt them.
For many reasons, for some people, Christmas is a season of pain and grief and loneliness. Jesus understands. He can relate.
Yesterday we spent some time thinking about the genealogy of Jesus. We considered the seventy-seven generations of his earthly ancestors, going all the way back through Adam to God the Father Himself. In his wonderful little devotional “The Christmas Code”, author O.S. Hawkins reminds us that if you look at the lists of names in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and then take some time to consider who some of those people were, you realize that the ancestors of Jesus were something of a rogue’s gallery of misfits.
Abraham twice pretended his wife was his sister and almost allowed other men to have her, all in a vain effort to protect himself. David seduced another man’s wife and then had her husband murdered. Solomon was a playboy who made Hugh Hefner look like an altar boy. Rahab was a prostitute. There was a whole lot of misbehaving among the ancestors of Jesus, and they caused a considerable amount of pain and heartache for themselves and for those around them. That was Jesus’ heritage. That’s His family line. There was a lot of grief and pain and heartache.
Then consider what we know of the life and death of Jesus Himself. It was no cakewalk either. Born in poverty; raised in obscurity; opposed by the religious leaders; tortured and executed on a cross. Isaiah described a bit of it in his prophesy about the coming Messiah in Isaiah chapter fifty-three.
The point is that Jesus was very familiar with human suffering and grief. It’s one of the reasons He came – to rescue us from all of that.
If perhaps you are suffering and grieving this Christmas season instead of rejoicing and celebrating, just know that Jesus understands your grief and pain. He experienced it too.