Christmas Hope

paintingsnowytown 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 spirits of someone who is hurting.

 

I urge you, even if you yourself are having difficulty ‘getting in the holiday spirit, look around you this Christmas season with the eyes of faith. In as much as we as Christians are called to tend to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the widowed and orphaned, there is always someone around who needs a special friend even more than we do. You can be that special friend!

Here are a few life-giving things you can do to try to reach out to those you know who are hurting this Christmas season:

  • Expand your Christmas card list to include those you know who are having a hard time this Christmas season. It is a small gesture but will be likely well-received.
  • Invite them to coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner just to catch up. They will be glad to hear from you and it may go a long way in helping them feel better.
  • Do random acts of kindness for people that you know are having a challenging holiday season. Try offering encouragement or even being a secret Santa to boost another’s spirits.
  • When you are baking, put aside a baked gift for a special friend in need. Making moose-munch, brown sugar almonds or pecans or cookies will surely brighten their day.
  • If possible, invite a special friend to Christmas dinner with your family. That will prevent them from having to be alone on the holiday.
  • Invite your special friend to Christmas church services. Even if they decline, just being invited can be a great boost for someone who is hurting during the holidays.
  • Pray for all you know who are alone, grieving or hurting in any way this Christmas. Prayers—Yes, your prayers–are powerful and important to overall well-being. PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!

If you are reading this today, and you yourself are hurting, please know I am praying for you and will continue throughout the Christmas season and into the New Year. Try to reach out to another who may be hurting even more than you are. For to reach out to others always benefits both the one on the giving end and on the receiving end…It’s just God’s way to make such relationships mutually beneficial.

May hope, joy, and peace be yours to share with others, this beautiful Christmas season and beyond!

Adele M. Gill   |   Copyright 2016

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