Depression

The Old Made New

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The message of Christmas breathes life into the surrounding decay. It’s a reversal of things—the old made new, the dying made alive. The hopeless infused with hope. Everything of worth will last.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Rose, Winter, Snow, Flower, Red – Free Image on …

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The Hope of Christmas

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God has stepped into the darkness of our world, offering the hope of reconciliation.In Him, there’s hope even in the deepest depths of darkness, that we were created for something far greater than what we’ve settled for. We were made for a world where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Christmas, Candlelight – Free Image on Pixabay – 1050965

A Cry in the Darkness

Winter park at nightSometimes silence is the only appropriate response to tragedy. But sometimes our hearts cry out louder than the silence…piercing through the darkness, pleading for an answer. Where is God in the midst of all the hate and killing, the evil and the madness? Where are WE?

If God is good and loving, how can He allow horrific things to happen? We question how we can trust a God who allows darkness to prevail over our lives. But how can we NOT trust Him? The other alternative is to trust ourselves, to trust in humanity—but look what we’ve done to ourselves. How can we trust ourselves when we are capable of annihilating one another? Such evils have come at the hands of men intent on following their own selfish intentions. Yet following God’s ways, we would know and be empowered to “do to others as we would have done to us” and to “love others more than we love ourselves.”

We question what has become of God’s peace and provision. Where is His barrier of protection over us? But we are the ones who have erased the barrier. We’ve told God we’d much rather rule ourselves, even to the point of destruction. We’ve told him we don’t want Him in our homes, in our lives, in our schools…in our world, then we look and wonder why He’s not there when tragedy strikes.

God has stepped into the darkness of our world, offering the hope of reconciliation. In Him, we have the shelter of hope in the midst of our storms. There is no guarantee our lives on this dark earth will be safe. Men bent on following their own ways are constantly penetrating the barrier God has offered to provide.

And yet, in God, there is hope even in the deepest depths of darkness—that we were created for something far greater than what we’ve settled for. We were made for a world where there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”

In times like this, we cry out to God in words much like those of this prayer by Max Lucado: “Lord…Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence…

“Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene…

“Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.”

(Originally posted on the Eternal Encounter blog in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy)

There is Hope

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It may not seem to be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, with all that’s going on. It may not feel like the hap-happiest season of all. Yet if a song beautiful as Silent Night could be written in the midst of war, there is hope. God’s light is great enough to overcome the deepest darkness.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Winter, Night, Blue, Shade, Trees – Free Image on …

Hope Came Alive

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The very first Christmas was a time of political unrest and social upheaval, a king so evil and power hungry he would resort to killing innocent children to protect his throne. In the midst of such evil, hope came alive—a hope great enough to inspire beautiful songs written in times of deep darkness.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo: Alpine, Snow, Cold, Winter Night – Free Image on …

In Dark Times

 

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On this side of the world, Christmas comes at the darkest time of the year. How appropriate that in the darkest of days we’re blessed with candles and lights and words of hope. And how appropriate that come Christmas, the darkest days have passed.

 

Photo Credit:Christmas Lamp Post  | Flickr | by Shandi-lee

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Candle for ChristmasChristmas music is typically associated with feelings of joy. This year, it’s stirring something different in me. Something more somber, melancholy—the words and melodies clashing with news of endless bloodshed and senseless violence. Where is the hope these songs proclaim?

Instead of nostalgic feelings of happier days, I’m reminded of a scene in the late Robin Williams’ movie Good Morning Vietnam. Sobered by the brutality of war, Williams’ usually upbeat character cues the song What a Wonderful World. As Louis Armstrong sings about trees of green, red roses, rainbows, and friends shaking hands, horrific images from the tragic war scroll by in ironic dissonance with the lyrics, such words of hope gravely failing to mirror the surrounding reality.

My playlist continues as I scroll through the headlines. Can it get any darker than it already is? On this side of the world, Christmas comes at the darkest time of the year. How appropriate that in the darkest of days we’re blessed with candles and lights and words of hope. And how appropriate that come Christmas, the darkest days have passed. From here forward, the sun will shine longer and brighter, increasing each day until summer comes again.

The very first Christmas was a time of political unrest and social upheaval, a king so evil and power hungry he would resort to killing innocent children to protect his throne. In the midst of such evil, hope came alive—a hope great enough to inspire beautiful songs written in times of deep darkness.

It may not seem to be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, with all that’s going on. It may not feel like the hap-happiest season of all. Yet if a song beautiful as Silent Night could be written in the midst of war, there is hope. God’s light is great enough to overcome the deepest darkness.