I love celebrating Christmas with family. Gathering for fun, laughter, friendship, great food and gifts always makes for a rich time together.
But Christmas also has a way of intensifying our emotions, especially when we can’t have our loved ones near. Whether it’s because of life circumstances, relational fractures, or their passing, being separated from those we love feels especially hard at the holidays.
In those times of sorrow or loss, I am especially grateful for the reason for the season: God with us, Emmanuel. For followers of Jesus, His presence can somehow make the difficult times inexplicably sweet.
As I think about Christ’s presence in our lives, I’m reminded of these words from the classic hymn, "All That Thrills My Soul is Jesus."
Who can cheer the heart like Jesus,
By His presence all divine?
True and tender, pure and precious,
O how blest to call Him mine!
All that thrills my soul is Jesus,
He is more than life to me;
And the fairest of ten thousand
In my blessed Lord I see.
I pray you will experience the fullness of Christ’s presence in your life this season. May He be the source of your joy, comfort, strength and peace. When our souls are thrilled by Jesus – regardless of our circumstances – we can truly experience the best Christmas ever.