December . . . So often so tricky for so many people; either too busy or too quiet; the end of the year bringing pressures that are real, imagined or put upon us; events that feel like obligations; spending time with people who we would not necessarily choose to hang out with. For some of us there’s great things in the mix too: fun, celebratory times with good friends and family; the finish of school, work and other commitments for the year, and looking forward to relaxing and refreshing holidays. Along with this, all the things of normal life are thrown in there as well, and the things that might come about at any time can and do happen. For so many people it can be a pressure cooker situation.
In the midst of this we are celebrating the gift of Jesus coming into the world. Often people try and push the pressure cooker aside to get some space for this ‘real’ message of Christmas, and there can be a time and place for that. But Jesus came into the world because it is messy and broken and because we are sinful and in need of salvation. He comes to us wherever we are and however we are. He comes to bring life in all its fullness. That’s why He came. That is why He became flesh and made His dwelling among us (John 1:14).
I’ve had one of those tricky Decembers – internal pressures, sickness, tiredness, my own sin and trying to make life work being so real. As well, some external pressures way beyond my control have been thrown into the mix. At points it’s felt like I’ve been thrown for a six and it’s into the reality of that kind of place that I’m remembering and celebrating the fact that Jesus has come into the world to bring us salvation. Through that we know love, peace, joy and hope. The richness of this salvation and hope and the knowledge of His ultimate plan and purpose are leading me to trust him and giving me peace this week.
Where are you this December? What shape are you in as we come to celebrate Christmas? We gratefully celebrate the coming of Jesus who has entered the reality of the world with all its joy and mess. He longs for us to know the depth of that mystery and through that to know salvation and fullness of life. I pray that, as we focus on Jesus coming and making his dwelling among us this Christmas, we will once again be amazed and filled with love, peace, joy and hope.