Christmas Hope

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13 NASB   Christmas Hope. This year, like so many others, we are grateful to be receiving beautiful Christmas cards wishing us well. Actually, more specifically, wishing us peace and joy throughout this holiday season. Glitter abounds, each card that arrives is even more beautiful than the one before, and each has a wonderful message of hope.   However, beyond the glitter sprinkled Christmas cards lies the goodwill of the senders and a yearning for life-giving memories and togetherness. Surely this season is really about hope for many people. Hope that we get the gift we want. Hope that we get to spend Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day with loved ones. Hope that the New Year will bring us blessings of happiness, success and prosperity. And ultimately, for Christians, hope in Our Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.   Yet for some, the Christmas holidays are anything but merry. For some who face uphill battles of grief and loss of any kind, loneliness, untreated trauma, disability and/or infirmity, the revelry of the season may be an annoyance, and the merriment diluted or absent. For such people, the Christmas season can be a time of angst and broken heartedness. It may be difficult to know what to say or do to help someone who experiences sadness or a sort of hopelessness during such festive holidays, but a little kindness and encouragement can go a long way in lifting the...

Christmas Compassion

“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”   Isaiah 40:13   Compassion. Is that the core of the heart of Christmas? ‘Seems to me year after year that Christmas is a time of great compassion. Compassion for the less fortunate in need, compassion for Our Dear Lord who lived and died for us all. Compassion for those who are hurting. Random acts of kindness.   I sometimes wonder if it is possible for people to embrace the Christmas Spirit all throughout the year. Imagine what it would be like if that were the case. The poor would be regularly fed and clothed, the grieving and despairing comforted. Joy and peace would reign. Basically, those in most need among us would likely have more of what they need to thrive as we endeavor to reach out to others in their time of need. Abundant supply, actually.   This year, let’s all try to do more acts of kindness–random and intentional, Let’s try to listen a little more closely  to those in need of a friend or encouragement. Try to donate our time and resources to charities. It could be as simple as donating clothes to the poor. Let’s pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Let’s give it our best this upcoming year. It will surely enrich our own lives and those around us in our communities, as we strive to bring comfort, peace and joy wherever we go as we give all glory and honor to God!   This kind of giving sets...