What Christmas does to Grief

Grief is weird. My co-worker Jenny Bushkell said that recently, as we reflected on the loss we’ve experienced this year. Among others, we lost our precious friend and general manager John Adams.

Now, wait a second, Bob, you might be thinking, it’s Christmas. This is a time for Joy and Family. And you would be so right.

Christmas is a story of triumph. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” David wrote in Psalm 30:5. There is Joy in the morning because the night has not won. The Son came, stepped down from His seat at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven, and entered our world as a helpless babe, so that the Father might be continually glorified.

That baby whose birth we celebrate every December would grow into the man who lived a perfect life and died a gruesome death. He was the perfect sacrifice, so that when He triumphed over death and rose again on the third day, He would not return to the seat of the Father without us.

What we have lost is most obvious during the holidays, when we gather as a family and love on each other. It is impossible to ignore their absence, to not notice that we can no longer love on them or feel them love on us.

That pain is so hard.

But that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s about the arrival of God’s solution to our sin, to the consequence of that sin which is death. This precious baby, born of a virgin, would conquer death so that we would never have to fear it again.

There is no hope in death without Christ, but with Christ there is no death. We will see them again, because of Christmas. Because of the birth of our Savior, we will miss those we have loved and lost, but not forever.

Grief is weird, because it wasn’t part of God’s design, and yet when we broke His design and began to suffer, He gave the most precious gift to save us. There is no fear in death because of Christmas.

So grieve, my friends, and know that I too am grieving losses this season. But rejoice also with me in the peace that Christmas grants us in our grief. We will see them again – in heaven.

Merry Christmas!

Bob Bell

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