Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Angels From The Realms Of Glory"1 (Lyrics)
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. (NKJV)
For the first time in thirty-five years, we will not be celebrating Christmas in our cozy house on our four acres of lawn and forest with the creek at the back, the place which has been our home for all those many years.
That house is where we had times of joy and times of sorrow, times of pleasure and times of sadness, times of good health and times of devastating illness. Earlier this month, it was time to move on, and we will be in a smaller house on a much smaller lot this Christmas.
When I reminisce, I see our children becoming adults, going to school and university, choosing their profession, getting married, and having children of their own. I remember the good times we had as we babysat some of our grandchildren and watched them learn to swim in our pool. I can still hear them squeal when they tobogganed down the snowdrift in front of our house. The oldest one has three children of her own now. There are so many good things to recall, too many to write down, really. But I also remember the day when we had a reception in our house when my father was buried, and the day when we were told that my sister died. So many changes! Yes indeed, there is a season for everything.
But through all the changes there is always this one constant, and that is the presence of God in our lives. He guides us through the good as well as the sad times, for Christ gives us the ultimate hope:
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 – "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
That hope is especially ours at this time of the year, when we will again celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem so many years ago, when we will again sing the beautiful Christmas carols of old, when we will again hear that familiar story and those wonderful words of Scripture when the angel said to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV) The good tidings are that Jesus came to defeat our worst enemy: death.
The Lord willing, we will be in our new house, and there will be a Christmas tree in front of the living room window, just like there was in our old house. We will have Christmas music playing on the CD or tape player; we will have guests staying with us for a few days; some of our children and grandchildren will come by for a visit. We will go to the Meaford Long Term Care Centre to lead in worship on Christmas Day, as we have done for many years. And regardless of where any of us are on that day, we will again remember the birth of Christ and His victory over death.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the birth of Christ Your Son so many years ago, and what that means to all of us even here and now. We pray, Lord, that during this Christmas season, this will be first and foremost in our minds. We pray that more and more people will believe the truth of the gospel. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.