Embracing Hope During the Holidays

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

November 19, 2023

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Read

Psalm 34:18, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Matthew 11:28-30, “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Think

The festive season, whether it's Thanksgiving with its themes of gratitude and family gatherings or Christmas with its message of hope and redemption, often paints a picture of joy, togetherness, and celebration. But for many, this season can magnify feelings of loss, loneliness, or sorrow. Memories of happier times or loved ones no longer with us can overshadow the festive mood.

Imagine sitting at a dinner table adorned with festive decorations, surrounded by laughter and chatter, yet feeling a void inside. For numerous individuals, this is a poignant reality. Whether it's the absence of a family member, the sting of memories, or the weight of unfulfilled hopes, the contrast between external appearance and internal pain can be drastic.

However, these holidays also carry a profound message: the presence of hope and the possibility of healing. Thanksgiving is a time of finding gratitude, even in the face of adversity. At the same time, Christmas celebrates God sending his only Son into the world, knowing the anguish he would experience. God's presence in the world wasn't introduced against a backdrop of perfection, but amidst pain and challenges. This serves as a powerful reminder that Jesus understands our pain and desires to be near and help us during our most challenging moments. Your Lord is also ready to give rest to your soul no matter what burden you carry

Apply

If you find yourself battling pain this season, give yourself permission to acknowledge and feel it. But also, intentionally invite God into that space. Reflect on the deeper meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas: gratitude and hope in all circumstances. Find a quiet moment to write down things you're grateful for or sit and savor the memories of a loved one. Consider reaching out to friends or family who can provide support during this season.

Pray

God, I seek your comforting presence. Thank you for being close to the brokenhearted. Help me to find moments of peace and healing this holiday season. Guide me to your Word so I may find comfort knowing you are with me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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