I just finished reading Scott Owning’s Blog From Prague that Steve Puckett sent to me. What an incredible read this is!! It makes me think of this Christmas season in a whole new light. I invite you to read it as well.
Having hope in the midst of pain and suffering is really a beautiful picture of the Christmas story. I was brought up to believe that this time of year was certainly not the time to talk about the birth of Christ. I have learned better and know that it really doesn’t matter when we talk about the His birth, but why not live in the moment and magnify Jesus when the world might be listening more than any other time of year?
Yet all of this being true, this reading has helped me see the Christmas story from a whole new perspective. Owing uses the book of Revelation to show how that Jesus’ story may be more clearly seen in the face of pain and suffering. We have so commercialized Christmas that it seems that Jesus and His story has been completely put on the back burner. People all around us are in the middle of pain and suffering and some of theme don’t even know it. Marriages are hurting, people are sick and dying, unemployment, alcoholism, and the list could go on and on. Spiritual death seems to be the order of the day. Yet, we must see that the Christmas story is most deeply felt in the time of despair.
Even Jesus’ birth was surrounded in despair. His life was full of it. He not only suffered in His death, but He suffered in His life. Yet He overcame by the power of His blood and through the resurrection!!
When our lives are full of pain and despair, there is only one way to look and that’s up. The people of the book of Revelation were killed for their testimony and yet the book is about them overcoming by the blood of the Lamb–the same Lamb who has overcome for us. What a message of hope!! I hope this Christmas through my preaching, teaching, and my life to bring hope into the midst of despair for others.