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When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year isn’t so Wonderful

wonderful time of year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year we are told. But that cheery greeting hurts to hear for many who are not having a wonderful time right now.

The house church member who just lost his mom to cancer
The mom who faces the third Christmas without her daughter
The resettled refugee who isn’t sure their family made it out of Aleppo

The son who is estranged from his family
The friend who longs to be happy but the depression is so heavy

The family that isn’t sure how they will pay for heat this month, let alone presents
The father who watches helplessly as his child is sick, unsure if this will be the last Christmas
The reminders of all the loss and pain of Christmas past

The darkness can be enveloping this time of year, longing for the Light to shine.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

This verse is often quoted as if it is speaking to a singular person, guiding them on how to handle various situations. But what if it speaks simultaneously to the rejoicer and the mourner? As we celebrate this time of year, we need to be sensitive and remember those who are hurting. Yet that does not mean we stop celebrating. And likewise as we weep over our losses and pain this time of year, we do not ask those celebrating to stop. Together we meet one another where we are and remind one another that this too shall pass.

If for you the time is wonderful, savor the joy you have this Christmas so that you can cling to its memory to carry you through when you face hard years.

If this time for you is not so wonderful, remember the good years and cling to the hope of good years to come. But whatever side of wonderful you find yourself on this year, hold close those who are on the other side of it. Rejoicing and mourning together is what draws us close and makes this time of year wonderful.

Wherever you find yourself this year, Merry Christmas from Shelemah. May your Christmas future be all the brighter.

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