Ever wonder if this year will be the year of your perfect Christmas? You’ll find that impossible-to-find toy. There won’t be any arguing around the dinner table. And the turkey will not be dry.
But no matter how hard we work, how hard we hope, something always goes wrong. Not everything is the way we want it to be. In fact, some years things are worse than merely imperfect. Sometimes they are truly broken beyond repair.
Our world is full of brokenness. Broken families. Broken bodies. Broken futures.
Sin’s devastating effects are all around us, constantly impacting us. Illness and disease. Evil and violence. Lust and greed. Pain and loss.
Scripture says that all creation groans under sin’s weight (Romans 8:20-21). Even God’s children feel the burden and long for the day that Christ’s redemption will be fully realized:
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:22-23
Yes, Jesus came to bring salvation. His death and resurrection brought victory over sin and death. But the last effects will not be wiped away until Jesus comes again.In the meantime, we groan.
Sometimes Christmas only magnifies our groaning. We are expected to be joyful and hopeful. Yet it is easy to allow our circumstances to overshadow joy and hope.
But here’s the Good News. This Christmas may not be perfect. Indeed, it may be shattered. But believers have an unshakeable joy and a sure hope in our Christmas yet-to-come. When Immanuel comes again, He will make everything right. Everything broken will be whole again.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
A broken Christmas does not have to be joyless and hopeless. While we wait for the Christmas yet-to-come, we cling to Christ’s love (Romans 8:38-39), we depend on God’s strength (Philippians 4:13), and we rest in the Father’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).