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  • Pastor Ralph

Advent: Day 17

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15 (NIV)).

Christmas is a time we normally rejoice. It is a season of excitement, laughter and joy. But, occasionally, it can also be a season when we face challenges and instead of “rejoicing”, we “mourn.” I remember the Christmas of 2000, when my Dad passed away on December 22. Again, I celebrated Christmas and rejoiced in the birth of Jesus but, admittedly, I also mourned the passing of my Dad. I also remember the Christmas shortly after, that Allison was so deadly ill. Those holidays were tough.

I write this, this day, for all who are facing tough Christmases. Remember why Jesus came. He came to be with you, Emmanuel “God with us.” He is with you in your difficulties and pain (Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)). Go to Him, be honest about your agony and pain. He understands. Reach out to those around you. Let others know and share in your struggles. Face it, as a team. Remember the eternal hope we have in that manger. May God bless and encourage you this Christmas season. You are being prayed for.

Prayer: Lord, we stop and pray for those that are hurting this day. As they come to mind, may we lift them up this Christmas season. May your strength and grace surround them and uphold them in your love. If we can help out in any way, help us to do it in love. Strengthen those who are struggling this Christmas season – In Jesus’ name - Amen

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