It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” We’ve all heard that song, and in some ways we all agree with it.

It is the most wonderful time of the year–unless it isn’t.

Today I have a funeral for a teenager. Nine years ago almost to the day, I had a funeral for a young adult. I have had many unexpected funerals shortly before Christmas.

What can we do when we are the ones grieving, and how can we encourage those who are grieving?

First, we can mourn with those who mourn. God tells us to do this (Romans 12:15). This is one way God’s people practice community.

Second, we can encourage one another. Yesterday, I received an email from the family whose son died nine years ago. They were reminding us to pray for and encourage people who are grieving this time of the year (or frankly any other time of the year). Their communication was filled with grace and gratitude. It encouraged me. We all can be encouraging to others. Just to know someone remembers our burden helps us.

Third, go out of your way to look for people who are struggling. Let them know you care. If you are struggling because of your loss, find someone else to help. For some amazing reason, you will be blessed by helping someone else. It always works that way.

Fourth, remember that nothing you can say can remove pain. Sometimes, it is simply best to say very little. Even if we don’t know what to say, a smile, a hug, or a kind gesture can help someone along the way. Many churches are having a “Blue Christmas” to help families who are struggling through loss. It’s a time to pray, encourage, and look for the hope that is in Christ Jesus.

Finally, don’t leave Christmas out. It’s easy to abandon Christmas because of the pain, but Christmas is the source of our hope. Let us look deeply into what Christ did for us as He gave His unique Son to redeem us from sin and death.

Do what we all need to do: focus on Christ. He is our hope, and “hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).

One Comment

  1. The Millers
    Dec 22, 2017

    Words are lacking.
    I will pray.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. — Psalm 37:4 (NIV)