A Christmas to look forward to
Joy is out ahead of us. Joy is waiting for us in that land where death and loss and grief is just a memory.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2)
Christmas is two days away. Are you excited? I love this time of year, but the older I get, I have to admit that some of the sparkle and shine dims a little. Maybe it’s the doldrums of middle age (yikes, how am I middle aged now?). Maybe it’s just realizing how much life has changed from when I was a child. Maybe it’s just me missing those who used to be here to celebrate with us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas, and I always will. But when I look back on past Christmases, I get sad. I remember how things used to be. I remember my grandpa and his jolly blue eyes and his unbelievable skill at playing cards. I remember when my whole family used to gather together to celebrate. I remember friends I don’t get to see anymore. I remember so many wonderful things that used to be.
And they aren’t anymore.
And then, one day recently, I realized that when I look back, I am sad about what we don’t have anymore. But when I look forward, I can anticipate what Christmas celebrations will be like in eternity.
Because you know we’re going to celebrate Christmas in heaven. I don’t see why we won’t. We’ll be celebrating Christmas forever because it was one of the most important events in the history of creation—when Jesus came to earth on a rescue mission.
Imagine what Christmas will be like in heaven, you guys. Just imagine. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how we’ll dance and party with everyone who has gone ahead of us. Family. Friends. And even people from history. We can actually TALK to Joseph, to Mary, to the shepherds.
I know Christmas may be sad for a lot of people. I get it. There’s a reason to be sad. But there’s also a reason to celebrate. So don’t look back. Look forward.
There is wisdom in looking back, yes. It’s wise to know where we came from. It’s good to know what happened along the way. But that’s not where joy is. Joy is out ahead of us. Joy is waiting for us in that land where death and loss and grief is just a memory.
Now that’s a Christmas to look forward to.
Questions for Reflection:
What is your happiest memory of Christmas?
When we are in heaven celebrating Christmas, who is the first person you’re going to talk to?
If you could ask Jesus anything, what would you ask Him? (And why haven’t you asked Him yet? LOL!)