Are you feeling low? Is there a discouragement that lingers below the surface and is gasping to come up and be known?
My heart is heavy for many of my friends who are trying to hang on to happiness despite the cloud that envelopes them. For some it is a loss that they have endured this year and as Christmas approaches such loss is magnified. For others it is a battle against cancer. There are a myriad of other reasons weigh upon still others. Take all these and then add the discouragement of our current pandemic lockdown. Makes the wishing of “Merry Christmas” ring hollow.
My personal devotional reading today came glaring off the pages at me and steered me back onto a good path. It was the greeting of the angel to the Shepherds: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you!” (Luke 2:10-11).
This is the time of year when we need to dig deep into the Christmas story and unpack its greatness. Traditions bring a warmth to our lives, a measure of predictability that comforts us, but they carry no power beyond pointing us to something deeper. We are like Shepherds living socially distant and enveloped in darkness. We need the terrifying power of God to jolt us out of slumber and awaken us to the reality that Christ has come!
If discouragement simmers away in your life I encourage you to be bold in your prayers to God. Ask him to make you fully alive to Him by the power of his Spirit and to drive away the doubts and fears. This is my grown up pastoral Christmas wish for you.