As I think about Christmas, make plans for the coming days, and am surrounded by constant reminders of what Christmas "should" be like, I'm reminded that for just about all of us there is something nagging in the background that keeps Christmas from being completely that idyllic Charles Dickens-like experience we often long for.
For some it might be the constant pressure of finances (the lack thereof), or the trial of ill-health which makes so many Christmas activities unthinkable. For others it could be broken relationships, the feeling of loneliness, or the anticipation of trying to interact with a difficult relative.
Reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, I find comfort in the fact that Christ, the savior born on that first Christmas, is alive today and reigning as King of Kings. Nothing is out from under His perfect control, and He allows nothing to come into His children's lives except what is for their best interest and His glory.
How I love to listen to Handel's Messiah at this time of year and let the words of it sink into my heart. They are straight from Scripture and speak of man's sin, God's plan for redemption, the coming of Christ as a babe, His death on the cross, and triumphant resurrection and now His eternal reigning on high.
I do pray for each of you in whatever difficulty you may carry in your heart at this time of year that you too would find comfort in God's word and in the true message of Christmas.