I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I’m not saying that because I have to. I hope everyone finds joy in this season celebrating the birth of Jesus. However, some times holidays bring more sadness than imaginable.
For instance, the murder of my pastor’s son happened the day after Christmas. This year my pastor and his family didn’t celebrate it which is understandable. If that happened to any of us, the wish of Merry Christmas loses all meaning. An impending state of doom clouds many who have lost family members at this time. It doesn’t matter when or how they passed away.
Last week, I felt clouds setting as the rains came to Southern California. I looked back at all that happened the past few years: my older daughter born with a set of medical problems which still need periodic check-ups, major back surgery that still hurts once in a while, and my brother passed away. I thought, what more? Then I imagined the worst as a lot of us do. But the worst already happened.
As I think about all the struggles, I know the only place to go is up. When my pastor sat fifteen feet away in court from the three men who murdered his son, he thought, “I want to hate but I have no room for it in my heart.”
That one thought should at least give us some hope this season.