Tomorrow morning, homes will start to stir with coffee makers brewing, children impatiently waiting, dogs scratching at the backdoor, parents readying cameras, and families gathering near the tree. For some, the day will begin with excitement and expectation. For others it might begin with loneliness and perhaps a bit of dread. For all of us, wherever we find ourselves, I pray we find these things waiting…
Hope … no matter what life is throwing our way right now, I want hope for tomorrow and each day beyond. Perhaps it’s only a flicker in the dark, or maybe it’s a beaming star in the night sky, but I pray we see it and believe it. In any situation, any heartbreak, any darkness… there is still hope. May we grasp it and cling tightly to it. May we let it carry us through rough waters.
Comfort … for the grieving, heartbroken, and wounded ones. May we find comfort and rest in the midst of the bustle of the day. May we be comforters, reaching out our arms and hearts to those around us. Pausing to notice the hurting among us and acknowledging their pain.
Love … for each and every one of us. Love for our families, our friends, and our neighbors. I hope we find ourselves overflowing with God’s love for others and God’s love for us. In a world that often seems lacking in this area, may we make up the difference.
Peace … when chaos and uncertainty surrounds us, may we take a deep breath and remember that the baby born in the manger is called the Prince of Peace. May it fill our hearts and minds. Let’s move a little slower through the day, pausing to take in whatever the moment brings – laughter or frustration, warm coffee or burnt turkey. Let’s not let the events of the day own us, but be mindful of the gifts we have.
Joy … for all of us. And not the joy that gets confused with “happy,” but the deep abiding joy of those who have known hard things. The type of joy that looks around with tired eyes at torn paper, crying kids, burnt pie crust, and says, it is well with my soul.
Instead of expecting a perfect day complete with moments fit for a Hallmark card (something sure to set us up for disappointment), let’s expect hope, comfort, love, peace, and joy. They are the free gifts offered to all, curtesy of that baby who grew to be a man and defeated death for you and me.
Merry Christmas, friends…