Comfort and Joy –It’s a feel-good Christmas slogan isn’t it? We sing it in our carols and plaster it on hallmark cards. But what if it reveals more than you think?
Each one of us turns somewhere for comfort and joy. What brings you comfort? What brings you joy?
Many years ago, I remember waking up on New Year’s Day morning to a multitude of police surrounding my hi-rise condo building. Someone had taken his own life on New Year’s Eve. This despairing individual thought he would find more comfort in death than life. Perhaps this is an extreme example, but it was marking for me.
We all turn to many things for comfort and joy. Sometimes we even pursue tragic means while trying to find comfort for our souls.
So often in life, we feel discomfort. It’s often what brings people to the point of counseling. Often times as counselors we hear, “Can you help me? This burden is more than I can bear alone.”
So too in the ministry of Christ, whether a leper, a doubter or a seemingly forsaken covenant keeper, comfort was sought in the person of Jesus Christ. He brought comfort through the ministry of presence and the power to heal. That is still our hope today.
During this holiday season, we may be tempted to find our comfort and joy in many things… even really good things!
- The comfort of family gathered
- The warmth of excellent food and fellowship
- The peace that accompanies a break from work
- The distraction of a new “toy” to play with
- The closeness we feel by being remembered
All of these may bring some comfort and joy and they are good gifts from the Lord to be received as grace. However, the moment they become the “source” of our comfort and joy, they will inevitably disappoint.
- Family will fail you at times
- The food will only temporarily satisfy
- Your work will be waiting on your return
- A newer, better version of the “toy” will come out
- Loneliness may return as the holiday cheer fades
In these moments, it is important to remember that the Christmas story tells us how we can find comfort and joy. This is true no matter the time of year or situation that you find yourself in. God breaking through a bleak, dreary night to light up the sky with the proclamation that the glory of God would be visible in a person who would bring ultimate comfort and joy.
Where is your hope for comfort and joy this Christmas season? Remember, the only true hope is found in Christ.