In a recent sermon, I shared with you about having to purchase a new watch. In times past I would have gotten the watch repaired. However, the cost of repairing the watch would have been the same as purchasing a new one. Therefore, I purchased a new one. It seems that we have shifted from a mindset of repairing broken things to tossing them out and replacing them. Sometimes this makes sense when we are dealing with a watch. However, it never makes sense when we are dealing with people. I fear that we now live in a disposable society with values that have negatively impacted even our relationships.
Now that we are through the holiday season, it is time to settle back into our normal work and routines. For some, the holidays were a joyful time filled with fun, family, friends, and good food. For others, the holidays were a sad time due to sickness or the loss of a loved one. For some reason, the holidays tend to accentuate the pain that some feel, possibly because of self-imposed guilt that it is wrong to feel sad during the holidays.
Once we get through the holidays, we still must make it through the remaining bleak, cold winter months before we can experience the renewing power that the warmth of Spring and Summer bring. In this newsletter article, I would like to offer some suggestions on ways to beat the blues that some of us feel during and after the holiday season.
When we consider the coming of Christ to earth roughly 2000 years ago, what comes to your mind? Perhaps you think of a frightened young girl wondering what she is going to do, since it appears that she has become pregnant and is going to have a baby outside of wedlock. Possibly you think of a young man who feels betrayed because he is certain that his betrothed wife has been unfaithful to him. Thankfully, neither of them was correct and God clarified His miraculous purposes to them. A baby lying in a crude animal feed trough may be the image that comes to your mind. The virgin birth, the angel Gabriel, shepherds in a field watching their flocks at night, wise men coming to worship with gifts, Mary’s song of praise, the list goes on….
May I suggest to you that possibly there is different image of Christ’s coming that we should have in mind since we live in these last days, the church age.
As we enter into the thanksgiving season, what is it that is keeping you from being thankful? For some, the answer to that question is that they have experienced some type of loss. For those who have lost loved ones during the holidays, this can make for an extremely difficult time. This is completely understandable. Whether it is one or multiple things, I think we would all agree that there are times when it is seemingly difficult to find reasons to be thankful. All it takes is for one thing in our lives to not be as it should, and this can cause us to lose our sense of gratitude.
How do we come to grips with the evil and suffering that we see in our world today? More specifically, how do we begin to make sense of the suffering that we ourselves experience in our daily lives? The problem of the presence of evil and suffering in our world has confounded many otherwise intelligent people down through the ages. For some, it has been a convenient excuse to question the goodness or existence of God. Their line of reasoning is that a loving God would not permit such evil and suffering to exist in the first place. Therefore, God is either unloving or does not exist at all. Others have said that God is loving, but He must not be powerful enough to put a stop to evil and suffering. There must be a better answer to this dilemma than what the world has offered, and we find it when we turn to God’s Word.