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Women of the Advent | January 05, 2022

Remember the end of 2020? All that talk about leaving behind the pain and struggle of 2020 and ushering in a brighter day in 2021? 

So.

How did we find ourselves at the end of 2021 in what seemed like déjà vu? So many conversations about the difficulties of 2021 and the hope of 2022 being a better year. Here is the question before us today: Do we really believe turning a calendar page will significantly change our state of suffering in this world? It’s true 2021 was another rough one on so many levels. But man has suffered the anxiety of uncertainty, the grief of loss, the pain of division, and the evil of sickness and death every day of every year since the Fall.  

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really gotten into New Year’s celebrations. Before I knew Christ, I found New Year’s to be depressing and disappointing each year as all of the promises of “a new year and a new you” just never came to fruition. Now as a follower of Christ, I find myself concerned for the folks who, just like me B.C., will wake up every January 1 and be disappointed that the new year has done nothing to make them, their life circumstances, or the world at large, new at all. 

There is a song I heard several years ago that resonated with me. It’s by Matthew West and it’s called Day after Christmas. You can listen to it here but the gist of it comes in the chorus: 

Happy day after Christmas
And merry rest of the year
Even when Christmas is over
The light of the world is still here

Dear friends, there is so much pain in our world, in our lives, that the turning of a calendar page has no power whatsoever to take away. But the Light of the world, our Savior Jesus Christ, has come. He who knows our pain first hand through his own suffering came into the world and by the power of his death and resurrection defeated sin and sickness and death once and for all. He is the Light that shines in the darkness. He is the Light that darkness will never overcome. He is the One who is making all things new.

But what about right now, today, in the midst of the grief we feel? Our suffering is real…today. Our pain hurts…today. But Jesus doesn’t leave us alone in it. In his second letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes that Jesus is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (1:3-4).

Jesus came to us to defeat the brokenness of this world. Jesus comes to us every day as we face the complications of our very broken lives. He who is making all things new calls us to come to him with our sorrows, our uncertainties, our grief, our disappointments, our anger…all of the things the turning of a calendar page will not and cannot change.

Jesus is with you in your heartache. He grieves with you because he loves you. He comforts you that you might comfort others. Take your troubles to him and find rest in his promises this New Year’s and always.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

You are in my prayers.

In Christ,

Leslie Housman
Director of Women’s Ministries
Leslie@CathedralAdvent.com

 
P.S. Join us Thursday, January 13, 11:30-12:30 for our next women’s luncheon, featuring Advent’s Director of Children’s Ministries Tara Davis. Details and registration here AdventBirmingham.org/Women.

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