Celebrating Christmas even when it’s bittersweet

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Celebrating Christmas even when it’s bittersweet

During this time of the year, people across the globe are preparing to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. For the most part, it’s a happy time.

People seem to be kinder to each other. Families get together, people travel to see loved ones and everyone seems to be a bit more mindful of others. Truly, joys seem greater during the holiday season. But, for some, the sorrows cut a little deeper too. Recently, one member of our student body went home with the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

After six years of chronic pain and 40 visits with the best doctors in the nation, her answer came and, though it’s not the answer she hoped for, it’s an answer all the same. This Christmas, she’ll be starting an intense detox to fight off a virus that’s been part of her life for the last six years.

She’s just one of several students facing a tough holiday season. Some members of our student body are heading home to see friends or family members who are in the hospital, fighting sickness or a life-threatening disease. Others will be celebrating their first Christmas without a particular family member.

Amid the carols, holiday parties and family get-togethers, several members of our student body may be facing a bittersweet break. Sadly, the world hurts, and pain doesn’t pause for Christmas. And yet, these pains, griefs and diseases caused by man’s sin—they’re the very reason Christ came to earth in the first place.

As Revelation 21:4 promises for the Christian, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying.” Even when we’re hurting, we can celebrate during the Christmas season. As believers, we have hope that we hurt only for a time and that this broken world is not our home.

Lyme disease will die, cancer will die, sickness will die—all because Jesus died and rose again.

We can sing the traditional Christmas carol, “Joy to the World,” which says, “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found.”

No part of the curse is beyond His reach.

This holiday season, no matter how bittersweet your celebration may be, if you are a believer, you can cling to the hope that Christ’s incarnation, suffering, death and resurrection bring us newness of life.