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Christmas in the Rear-view Mirror

December 26th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, holidays, Pastor's corner

Well, it’s finally over.

I don’t know about you, but once the celebration of Christmas is completed, I am done. Frankly, I don’t personally want to see any more twinkling lights or hear any more holiday songs, especially ones about Santa and reindeer. I am quite content to put Christmas in the rear view mirror.

Now I have to admit, I have an ulterior motive for that personally. Honestly, for anyone who is suffering, Christmas is especially hard. If you have a loved one who is no longer with you, the celebration of Christmas only accentuates that sense of loss.

Christmas marks the passing of time

I am not exactly sure why Christmas causes such emotions. Perhaps it’s because so many December memories that you did not even know you had are activated.

But it is also because each Christmas is a marker of time. It is an indication that another year has passed.

I don’t know how 2009 was for you. Maybe it was a banner year. Maybe it was a difficult year. Maybe it was the hardest year of your life. Or perhaps it was a combination of some of those. Whatever it was, this year is almost gone, and soon it will be time to venture into another year.

So I say goodbye to the sad memories, as well as the happy ones, and I put Christmas in the rear-view mirror.

Looking ahead to Christ

But at the same time, I also look forward to what God has ahead for us all this coming year.

Let’s not forget the message we heard so many times this Christmas: Immanuel, God with us. We are not alone. The Lord will guide us this year, just as He did the last.

Yes, Christmas is in my rear-view mirror, but Christ Himself is front and center. And He is the One I am looking to this coming year.

How ’bout you?

11 Responses to “Christmas in the Rear-view Mirror”

  1. Papa Dan says:

    This has been a great year! Not without problems or I call them bumps in the road. We have expierenced loved ones dieing, but with the knowledge that they are safely in God’s presence. God is here for us any time we want to seek Him! I was severed from my job of 30years 2 years ago, but this turned out to be a blessing, I now have time to be “on call” to help my large family 5 adult kid’s and 16 Grandkids. We enjoy your Daily Devotion and recieve streanth from them.
    Your ministries are alway’s in our prayers.

  2. Ghost says:

    As always, this year has had it’s ups and it’s downs. Luckily, I feel I have grown closer in my relationship with Christ. Thank you Pastor Greg for the amazing sermons and teachings throughout the year, you helped give me the insight for a teaching at my local youth group. Take care, and again thank you.

  3. Dee Galvin says:

    I cannot complain about anything, 2 yrs ago in the wee hrs of Christmas morning I had a mild stroke while my daughter and I were baking cookies, I know the Lord lifted me up and healed me, so I am greatful for every Christmas and every day. Thank you Lord for all your blessings.

  4. JennaAussie says:

    I often wonder as I get older how complex one day of the year can be for so many. The media pushes gift filled Santa toting christmas with bells and whistles… We have our own expectations on family and friends and are pushed financially to supply gifts, food and travel to make this ‘one day’ live up to the hype. Kids from divorce are pulled between two families, emotions are stretched. Those who have no loved ones close by are magnified in their isolation and disconnection.
    We miss those we have lost. We are rushed for time, money and as christians have to tread that line between christmas traditions and making the central message of Christ prominent above the gifts, tinsel and turkey.

    I’ve tried to play down this day and simplify it as I get older (in my 40’s) keep it simple. As a nurse I often opt to do a shift christmas day to divide the day into work and play.
    I think children are what make the day worthwhile. Their excited faces, their happiness, fun and joy give Christmas and edge of fun. To me, all else is tough.

    Without dismissing the day as a great family day and a time to bond and share love and gifts (if only it was that simple) I find it’s hypered over the years to a parody of what it should be. Simply a time to get together and be thankful for each other. If only…. I’m glad I am a nurse this time of year, it helps keep me grounded.

  5. Linda says:

    This past year has been a hard one for a lot of people, facing all sorts of difficulties. I think some how we have all suffered some kind of loss one way or another. The worst is always a missing loved one.
    Yes it is time to get past Christmas and all the decorations, bright lights and songs. Don’t know what the New Year will bring, we all hope for the best, at least better anyway.
    Your right, we are not alone, God is always within our reach, that is a wonderful gift. Like you are to all of us Pastor Greg, to all of us who have come to know you and your family and your church, you have blessed our lives, personally, you have saved mine.
    You have not just talked the talk, you walked along side all of us. You have been a friend, a pastor, a teacher, sharing everything in your life with all of us. You taught us all how to come through our faith with such courage and strength, to never stop, to always keep going. You showed us what a true Christian looks like and how one is meant to behave no matter where our lifes journey takes us.
    We can take comfort in knowing God is there for us in the days ahead, and we know that we don’t have to walk those steps alone, we can take comfort in knowing you are still walking with us too Pastor Greg.
    Thank you!
    May God continue to bless you, your family and your church and all who follow you this coming year.

  6. Mike says:

    2009 has been a bad year indeed. But things can always be worse. God has been with me. I have realized this year that Christians are not immune to hardships.
    Greg, I know it’s been a rough couple years for you and I am sorry for your loss. You have been a great encouragement to me in my times of sorrow and I have been inspired by your faith in all that has happened. God bless you!

  7. Lovie says:

    CHRISTmas was amazing this year… God continues to show me that even in death there is life. I lost my son two years ago in Okinawa in a car accident, Ben was 16 and he was saved. I struggle every day but seek God’s purpose in my life and guidance in dealing with this loss. I feel so blessed that God chose ME to be Ben’s mom… if only for a little while.

    I have listened to your services on AFN and have recieved your devotionals… your words have been such a comfort over the past two years to me… I even have one of your quotes posted on my fb page… “Knowing God and making Him known is the essence of being a Christian”.

    Thank God for “rear view” mirrors because I know that what’s behind me, however difficult it may be, has gotten me to where I am today spiritually, and where God is leading me to in the future… one step closer to Heaven!

    Love in Christ~

  8. dana says:

    I spend Christmas day alone now. But the last two Christmas’s have been the most joyful in my whole life because the Lord has been the complete center. I know I am where He has put me so He can grow my faith in Him and teach me to totally depend only on Him and that I’m never alone because He is always with me. I cherish being alone with my Lord and Savior on Christmas Day to meditate on who He is and what He’s done. I have to say my pain and worry slip away when all I look at is Him. What a wonderful way to honor Him when we take our suffering to Him who understands how we feel because He suffered so much.

  9. Aimee says:

    As I stop to reflect on Christmas I am reminded of the first Christmas, Jesus is only one day old. For me this means the Christmas has only just begun as we now we are about to embark on the journey of Christ’s life and of his death for our eternal life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Greg, you have been a comfort this Christmas season!

  10. delane says:

    I had a good christmas just spent with family and missing a member not from her passing away just her presence not here with us this year by her choice to be with her father and to dis-continue communication with me and her brother and sister. First time in 10yrs i didn’t get to wish her a merry christmas or huge her on christmas day. I pray for you and your family..

  11. D says:

    This has been a horrible year and I have cried out for God more times than should be normal..just 3 minutes ago I was in tears asking for strength..just give me strength to get through the day.

    We lost 2 loved ones over the course of the past week and have been struggling financially, emotionally and spirtually throughout all of 2009. I just pray that we can get some much needed peace in 2010.

    My single moment of comfort each week is Sunday morning, sitting in church, listening to you speak. That you for that.

    I’m ready to put 2009 in the rear view mirror.

    God Bless

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