If I haven't made it clear with my incessant blabbering about Christmas, let me just drive this home one more time. I love love love Christmas!!! This whole month! The Baby Jesus most of all, but also: the carols, the decorations, the shopping, the gift wrapping, the bell ringers, the generosity, the camaraderie ("Oh, are you also looking for an ugly sweater?"), and the family togetherness! Put it all together and I'm pretty weepy for most the month. It's an emotional time of year.
Sadly, I know it's an emotional time of the year for many, many people, but not in a good way. Family members celebrating their first Christmas without someone they love are struggling to make it through a season they used to look forward to. Loneliness, depression, and hopelessness are magnified at Christmas. Hearts are breaking every day we open another window on our Advent calendars.
Cheery, aren't I?
In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul speaks about God's unwavering compassion for us; his ability to comfort us. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." As usual, Paul is calling us to action. This time it is to recycle the comfort we receive from God and pass it on to our distressed brothers and sisters. Tis the season for peace and joy, but also for comforting the suffering.