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  • Shawn Thornton

Christmas Can Be Therapeutic

Sunday - December 19th

Scripture to Read Today: Malachi 4:1-6

 

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.

Malachi 4:6


Recent articles in various magazines and newspapers have explored what psychologists, therapists, and counselors suggest regarding how best to experience Christmas with the fresh stress of a COVID resurgence through the new Omicron variant. They suggest such things as putting up your Christmas tree early, creating online Christmas celebrations with friends and family, baking holiday cookies, and playing holiday music earlier and more often than you have in previous years. Even secular counselors understand that Christmas at its heart is a season of hope. As Christians, we know that celebrating today the birth of God’s Son that happened two millennia ago should focus on the truth that in Jesus, "Hope is Here." The Old Testament ended with a focus on the hope promised by God in the Messiah. The last verse of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:6) points toward the one who would be the Messiah’s forerunner. He would be like Elijah calling the people of Israel back to God. This Elijah-like figure would be a bright flashing arrow to point the Jewish people to the one who was the genuine Messiah. This forerunner would see such revival within the Nation of Israel that parents’ hearts would turn from greed, lust, and pride back to a love for their own children. Their children would have their hearts turned back to their parents. The one to whom he will point, the Messiah, would be the savior of God’s people Israel and would ultimately be the savior for all people. Embracing the hope of the promised Messiah and sharing this hope with others provides us a sense of peace and joy that circumstances cannot take away - not even a resurgence of COVID. The first testament of the Scriptures ends without realizing the promised hope, but the birth of Jesus began to fulfill the Old Testament promise! Step back and enjoy your decorations. Take in the lights on the tree. Bake some cookies. Make a gingerbread house. Play a lot of Christmas music in your car and home (by the way, Calvary’s Christmas Album entitled "Hope is Here" is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services).


The therapists are right - the celebration of Christmas is full of hope! Thank God for the promised hope Jesus is for you today!

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