Christmas is a beautiful time of year.
It is the season where we set aside time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on the gift of Christ. Family gatherings, special church services, school music and theater programs, and Christmas movies galore are all the wonderful additions that the season brings.
While shopping and running errands, the Christmas spirit rings loud and true with songs like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Wonderful Christmastime,” and “I Wish It Could be Christmas Everyday” playing throughout business establishments all over the land. At home, we pull out our “good dishes” and formally set our tables for Christmas dinner. As parents, we typically save our best gift giving for the Christmas holiday.
For many, these input sources and efforts point to the magic and joy of the season. For some, these songs, the movies with the happily-ever-after endings, and all the family traditions are dreadful and emotionally triggering. Children who are grieving the loss of loved ones or are displaced from their family and friends, and for those who are without a known family, the reality of Christmas can be daunting.
Children living in foster or group homes are burdened with internal voids, conflicted loyalties, lost dreams, and masked feelings that make it difficult to genuinely enjoy the holiday season. For the child feeling sad, overwhelmed, or numb at Christmas, it’s so important for them to know that God sees, God knows, and God cares.
God sees your need: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
God loves you with an inexhaustible love: “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Ephesians 3:18
God is truly concerned about you: “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Author Joel Ryan says that “children are a God-given example to the wise, a gift to the world, a vital part of God’s plan, and a treasure of His earthly and heavenly kingdom.”
During this holiday season, spread hope and love by reminding a vulnerable child that they are a gift to God, the world, and to you. Comfort them by sharing the hope and peace that comes from knowing Christ as a father — a father who is concerned about the joys and the troubles of His children.
1 Peter 5:7 serves as a reminder that our father God will not fix all our worries, but He promises that we can turn our worries over to Him and He will receive them and carry them for us. We are tasked to believe that God is powerful and trustworthy to handle our worries in the best manner.
Trusting God as our father means that we can feel safe, and we can rely on Him. It means that He loves us no matter what. It means that we are not alone. It means that our father is bigger and more powerful than anything else. It means that we, as His children, can find rest in the safety of His welcoming arms.
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is an old, beloved Christmas carol that celebrates the hope that we have in God.
Matthew 1:23 reads, “‘Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.””
Psalm 34:18 reminds us that Immanuel, God with us, remains “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
For the child who feels brokenhearted, God supplies nearness and sits with you near the pain, loss, and needs. For the child who is crushed in spirit and feels depleted or weary, our father God will give courage and peace that will free you to move forward.
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” purposes in our knowing that we can rejoice in the coming of Jesus and rest in knowing that Jesus, our heavenly father, loves us deeply and is always with us — even at Christmastime.