Changes

December 19, 2013
by Joel Jongkind

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.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good thoughts Joel. Have a Merry Christmas.


    Your writing today will help so many of us as we down size and our lives change. Thank you for your encouragement.


    Thank you for your memories. They are very similar to mine….and quite wonderful to process once again.
    Blessings.


    Dear Joel,
    That’s a big AMEN Brother!
    There is eternal peace and hope in Jesus.
    Blessings To all this Christmas.


    I wish I knew you personally Joel. We would enjoy some good conversation as it appears we are at about the same stage in life and share many of the same outlooks.
    Merry Christmas.
    (Texas)


    Hi. Well I am almost in the same boat as you. I have moved in my son’s house temporarily as I am looking for a condo to live close to them. So all my furniture is in storage right now. All my friends are praying for me to find one soon, but God is good and I have to trust in him right now.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.


    Dear Joel,
    Many thanks for your devotional. It reminded me that two years ago I faced Christmas for the first time without my parents. I had seen them everything Christmas Day in my life and I was over 60. I spent a very happy Christmas with one of my brothers and his extended family. I hope your devotional helps those facing a different Christmas this year for all sorts of reasons.


    Dear Joel,
    Let me first wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year.
    I just want to say thank you for sharing. As usual I truly enjoy your writings and most of all your prayers.
    May the dear Lord continue to bless you richly, and I look forward to your wonderful praises in the new year.
    Have lots of fun in your new home.
    Sincere blessings.


    Dear Joel,
    Though the law helps immensely to show us that sin is very sinful. It has no power like the birth, death, and resurrection of Our Lord to show us our God’s love and the peace and the eternal life we look forward to.
    Though I feel the nostalgia in your having to move, I pray for you and your family that you will move on to even greater heights in the Lord, carrying with you your wonderful memories.
    Thank you very much for your message.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you for you beautiful and touching message of Christmas reflections. I too have had some of the same thoughts especially regarding our young people today and the true meaning of Christmas. We must continue to take each opportunity to share the “TRUE” meaning of Christmas with them and ask our Lord and Savior to touch their lives. Blessings.
    (Texas)


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for your well written devotional. I’m certain that many people will be able to identify with it. Many baby boomers are downsizing these days.
    I just watched program on the 1950’s on CPAC last night that showed when all those homes were being built and the importance of having a home for the family. These are the people who are now retiring and moving out of their family homes.
    You are correct in that the one constant is God who is with us through all the changes.


    Hi Joel,
    I appreciated this devotional very much!
    Keep up the good work.

 



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