‘But this beautiful treasure is contained in us - cracked pots made of earth and clay - so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are cracked and chipped from our afflictions on all sides, but we are not crushed by them. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give in to despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.’
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
There are many reasons I love Christmas, but some years I’ve wanted to skip it; the thought of preparations and socialising filling me with dread. Like when my Dad was terminally ill and another family member committed suicide days before Christmas, or others when personal struggles or someone else’s hurt made it hard.
I know others have experienced this.
You or someone you know might be living it now. Poor physical or mental health, grief (of which there are many different kinds and time can be meaningless), relationship, financial or work worries - dealing with any of these in the run-up to and during Christmas can expose or magnify them.
We can feel as fragile as a broken bauble and finding the words, courage or opportunity to explain can seem like another mountain to climb during what we expect should be a time of celebration.
My faith doesn’t make the challenges of life go away, but it enables and encourages me to lift my eyes from the here and now. I can be fragile and still know that I am not crushed, abandoned or destroyed. There may have been years that I avoided the party atmosphere, but looking back I realise I didn’t skip over the joy of my Saviour’s birth.
I just found it differently.
I pray you do too.