by: Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer Columnist Barb Lissow
A Baby is Born
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14
Oh, how I love this time of year – sweet aromas are swirling around the kitchen – ginger, spices, fresh bread, hot chocolate, sugar cookies! Sweetness to all our senses along with smiles, hugs, family, and friends. And beautiful Christmas cards arrive in the mail – some decorated with vibrant colors, some with whimsical winter creatures, and some with exquisite depictions of the baby Jesus or the Holy Family gathered in the humble stable, alight with the glory of God’s perfect radiance – oh, how I love the Christmas season. Don’t you?
However, I am often reminded that not all of God’s children are happy at this time of the year. For some of our friends and family, this may be the first year to celebrate the Holy holiday of Christmas without a beloved relative or friend. Some of our friends may have had financial downturns or family disputes or major health issues which mean undo stress at this time of year. Will those with broken hearts find it too painful to find the joy in remembering the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I know of many who need my daily prayers, prayers to find the strength to carry on, to find that missing happiness. Jesus exhorts us to “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30
Remembering that Jesus cares for us, even in our grieving, can sometimes be hard to do. But He DOES care for us – He cared enough to sacrifice His innocent life and suffer for our sins. He was born in that stable with the purpose of fixing our brokenness – yes, He cared THAT much for us! And when we find ourselves carrying the heavy sorrows of this old world, God’s Word tells us that He will trade those burdens for a lighter yoke – one that will give us rest for our souls. Praise God! Our sadness and misery can be replaced with the joy of the Lord. “When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her, and He said, ‘Don’t cry.'” Luke 7:13
My prayers are that the Holy Spirit refreshes and renews the happiness in our humble hearts as we remember the Baby born in the stable in Bethlehem so many years ago, and how we are exhorted to share that joy with those who may have to celebrate with unfamiliar traditions this year. May we find God’s love, peace and comfort in His blessed, one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:15-20 Oh, how I love Christmas!
Please join Pastor Kirk and the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church, 856 W, Eldredge Road, Pocatello, for a beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Service at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, December 24th .
Barb Lissow, Faith Lutheran Church