The stereotypical Christmas pictures show whole, happy families complete with squealing little children in fuzzy pajamas, delighted over magical presents on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad are sipping their Maxwell House coffee made by the son who has secretly returned from overseas. Later the Norman Rockwell table is set, with the perfect turkey, ample food and 25 relatives all thrilled to be with each other, smiling with great joy around the table. But what if that is not your Christmas?
What if divorce or death has taken Mom or Dad out of the picture…and a lot of dreams with them? What if job loss has robbed your family of abundance this year? What if there isn’t ample food…because money had to be scraped together to buy 1 small present for each child? What if relationships are broken and strained…if there is an empty chair from a loved one who has turned his or her back on the family?
Well, then it makes the birth of the Savior even sweeter. Like a doctor is needed to heal the sick, not the healthy, Jesus came into the world to comfort the hurting, heal the broken, fill the empty. The pain and dysfunction in our world is the result of an act of rebellion in the Garden of Eden over 2000 years ago, and the pain, brokenness and death it ushered in has swelled through the centuries like a tsunami drowning so many today.
But the Babe in the manger – Jesus – is God who calms the storm…or sometimes just calms His child in in the storm. Jesus went from the cradle to the cross to overcome the troubles of this world, to bring hope to the hopeless and abundant life to all who surrender their broken lives to Him.
I’m living proof. Thirty years ago, I was a broken life, self-centered and self-destructive, bringing heartache to those around me – until I heard that Jesus loved me enough to come for me, die for me and change me. Today, I have purpose and abundant life. I still live in a broken world with divorce, death, shattered relationships, pain and dysfunction all around – but I have abundance in the faith and hope that only Jesus gives me. Nothing is beyond His ability. No one is beyond His reach. Jesus came into the world to comfort the hurting, heal the broken, fill the empty. Faith in Jesus changes everything. Let Him change you this Christmas…surrender all that is broken to Him and prepare to be made whole.