Winter Solstice/Longest Night

December 21: Read John 11:17-44 NLT

For many people Advent and the Christmas season are not times of happiness and joy, but a time of grieving and a sense of loss. Especially for those who have lost a loved one since the last Advent season. I have lost both of my parents, and the first few Christmases after their deaths were mixtures of joy and sadness.

Because of faith, God will lead us through this sadness with his great love for us. Christmas is a celebration of the coming of the one who will be our sacrifice for sins and who will conquer death for us through faith in him. Jesus understands our pain. 

In our scripture today it says, “Jesus wept.” He comforts Martha, raises Lazarus, and clearly demonstrates that he is the “resurrection and the life.” Grieving is natural, but within that sadness is a deep inner joy and confidence of the knowledge that our loved ones are resurrected with Christ.

Our journey through grief to joy centers on the one born to Mary and Joseph. When we celebrate Christmas, remember what Christ has done for us. Jesus loves us that much!

Prayer: Creator of all things, holidays can be painful but fill me with the joy of the good news that the Messiah is coming. Indeed, he is here!

Reflection Questions

Fun Fact: The shortest verse in the Bible is verse 35, “Jesus wept.” 

This season of Advent may be a time of sadness but also filled with joy. How you can experience joy and grief at the same time?

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