by Rex Yancey

When Christmas Is Not Merry
Rex Yancey
Luke 2:8-20

Bishop Gerald Kennedy told about a woman and a child who were looking in a department store window on a cold night before Christmas. The woman was thin, with many lines in her face, and her coat was worn. The little girl had on a cotton jacket and the shoes were worn at the toes. Inside the department store was a bright warm manger scene with a Madonna richly robed receiving expensive gifts from the wise men. The little girl looked at the lavished scene and said to her mother, "Mary never had and troubles like we have, did she Mama?" With tears in her eyes, the woman took the little girl's hand and hurried away.

The Bishop replied, "Brethren let us try to help our people to understand what Christmas really means. Let no one leave our churches thinking the incarnation has nothing to do with trouble, but let us pray for words to describe what happens to us when God in Christ shares our sorrows and leads us in the triumph of personal victory."

Make no mistake about it. Christmas will not be merry for all of you. Some of you are experiencing poor health, the loss of a loved one, divorce, unemployment, and estrangement from family. Most people want to enjoy the joy of Christmas.

What should you do when Christmas is not merry?

God comes to us in our trouble and sorrow. John tells us "He pitched his tent among us." Immanuel means "God with us." One of my favorite passages in the book of Hebrews is found in 4:15-16, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need."

It was a critical time when the angels announced the birth of Jesus. It was critical when Mary conceived knowing that she was a virgin.

Jesus wept in Geths ...

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