By Rev. Donn Brammer
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” (John 16:33).
Boy has that ever been an understatement for this year. The reality of our brokenness has been evident in ways we never would have imagined when the year 2020 began. From the pandemic to politics, from injustice to insensitivity, from brutality to apathy, we have witnessed words and actions of people that have been disgraceful, hurtful, and hateful.
So many times this year our hearts have been broken, our country and communities have been shaken, and we may have been left wondering and doubting. People have lost jobs, health, loved ones, and hope. Tragedies and crises have caused people to lose their perspective, and even common courtesy has been scarce.
As Christians it has been challenging for us to live out our faith during such difficult times and circumstances and situations, trying to give a faithful witness to God’s vision of wholeness and grace. Fortunately, we have been able to do so by remembering that Jesus did not stop at the word, ‘trouble,’ if you finish reading the verse Jesus says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
By looking to Jesus, by remembering that Jesus not only overcame death, we are reminded that Jesus shows us the power of God’s love and grace. We are able to take heart because we know that Jesus’ victory was not just over the grave, it was also over our fears, our pains, and our doubts.
Jesus did not stop at the word ‘trouble’ and neither do we. Jesus went on to claim ‘victory,’ and through Jesus, so do we.
By looking to Jesus we remember that love overcomes. As we come into the month of December, we are aware we will be celebrating Advent and Christmas in new ways, but we will still be celebrating the same Good News. God is with us. That’s what Immanuel means, ‘God with us,’ and that’s what Jesus taught and showed us. Love overcomes. Always.
That’s the Christmas message we share and the one the world needs to hear, especially this year. Thank you for your faithful witness. Merry Christmas and God Bless,