“Oh tidings of comfort and joy.”
Christmas is a season meant to bring comfort and joy.
The honest truth is that often Christmas is a season of pain and loneliness.
This pain and loneliness causes many to question the existence of God during a time when we celebrate God’s coming into our world in the form of a baby.
I’ve been reading The Reason for God by Tim Keller for my Christmas break reading (I never get to read what I want to read during the school year). Last night I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on the age old question of how a good God can allow suffering?
I think the topic relates so well to the Christmas season as it is more painful than joyful for so many.
CS Lewis said:
“They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.”
For me, this is what Christmas, the celebration of the Incarnation, is all about. Christ came to this earth to give us hope of turning agony into glory…not for today, but for eternity.
Each season of Advent John Piper writes poems that he integrates into his messages each Sunday during the Christmas season. This one seems very poignant today.
And every sorrow deep within,
And every trace of lingering sin
Is gone. And all that’s left is joy,
And endless ages to employ
The mind and heart to understand
And love the sovereign Lord who planned
That it should take eternity
To lavish all his grace on me.
O God of wonder, God of might,
Grant us some elevated sight,
Of endless days. And let us see
The joy of what is yet to be.
And may your future make us free,
And guard us by the hope that we,
Within the light of candle four,
Are glorified forevermore (full poem).