December 02, 2006

Hope for the Holidays

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

We do not want you to ... grieve like the rest ... who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13


The holiday season is a time when we gather as friends and family. These are often times when special memories are made.

But for some people this holiday season is filled with sorrow and heartache. For example, the Christmas holidays may rekindle a sense of grief as you remember a loved one who has died. At such times--when the rest of the world is celebrating--grief can fill us with a sense of deep sorrow and even lead us to hopelessness and despair.

Paul reminds us as believers in Christ that although we might grieve, we do not grieve "like the rest of men, who have no hope." Why not? Because "we believe that Jesus died and rose again."

Jesus came into this world not only as a baby born in a manger. He came to conquer sin, which he did on the cross, and he came to defeat death, which he did through his resurrection.

Because of Christ we have the hope of life eternal and the promise that one day we will celebrate his coming again. This is the hope of all believers, including those who have died. In this Christmas season, may you find comfort in the promise of celebrating together with your loved ones again in God's presence and--best of all--with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus, thank you for the promise of eternal life with you. Thank you also for the assurance that our loved ones who have died in you are with you even now. Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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