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A Deeper Joy

After the drought, and the super storms After the politics and the losses of all kinds Comes the winter Dark and cold and endless So we celebrate! And experience the beauty Of the sparkling snow and colorful lights We give to the poor, and enjoy rich food We spend our money, and save our economy And Christmas feels so . . . Necessary But some haven't the heart for jolly cheer, not this year Many lost loved ones, this year or another year

To abandonment, to misunderstanding, to accidents To disease, to violence, to suicide Chilling pain slowly erodes fragile hearts and bones Some lost life partners Partners of many years, or few Happiness cut short at its beginning Or lifelong love jaggedly severed Some lost children Little ones never having a chance at life Teens just out for a good time Young adults never returning from the war And Christmas feels so . . . Empty Yet it approaches none-the-less Some lost jobs and homes And everything they ever owned And there is no money for basic needs But the children still want presents . . . And some ask why If God is real and if God is all powerful Why does He permit this loss Some ask why, but find no answer . . . And Christmas feels so . . . Angry But God says: Come all you who are thirsty Come to the waters

And you who have no money Come, buy and eat . . . As the rain and the snow Come down from heaven And do not return to it Without watering the earth And making it bud and flourish So is my word that goes out from my mouth It will not return to me empty But will accomplish what I desire (From Isaiah 55) And Christmas feels so . . . Hopeful! When we soak up the Word, like dry thirsty ground! Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant About those who fall asleep Or to grieve like the rest of men, Who have no hope We believe that Jesus died And rose again And so we believe that God will bring with Jesus Those who have fallen asleep in him (1Thes 4:13-14) And Christmas feels so . . . Triumphant! And bursting with delight! For the Lord himself will come down from heaven

With a loud command, with the voice of the archangel And with the trumpet call of God, And the dead in Christ will rise first After that, we who are still alive And are left will be caught up together with them In the clouds to meet the Lord in the air And we will be with the Lord forever (1Thes 4:16-17) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes There will be no more death Or mourning or crying or pain For the old order of things has passed away. (Rev 21:4) And Christmas feels so . . . Alive! And becomes a time of profound peace Peace I leave with you My peace I give you I do not give to you as the world gives Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27) So even when Christmas holds no jolly cheer There is a deeper joy, not of this world Receive the gift, embrace it! This year, this season, and for Eternity!
RoseDQ (Brenda C.) December 2012