Christmas #23

By: Tim Grissom
That first Christmas was a blur. I was still pretty numb, having been widowed all of twelve days. My parents were staying with us (I was glad for their company and their help), and a troop of wonderful ladies from church had decorated the house and done all my gift shopping. I joined in as best I could, but honestly, I don’t remember much about those holidays.

This will be Christmas #23 without her. What is it about December that makes the wounds of grief bleed again?

A lot has changed since that first Christmas. I’ve added three sons-in-law and four grandchildren. The menu has been upgraded from chicken spaghetti to beef tenderloin. And we now put up an artificial tree (which I swore I’d never do until my son’s allergies made me unswear it.)

But much is still the same. We still celebrate the coming of Christ. In fact, celebrating His first coming and anticipating His next one is why I know that grief has an expiration date. That’s why I can sorrow . . . with hope.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
—1 Thessalonians 4:13–14

Reprinted with permission from
© 2021 by Tim Grissom. All rights reserved.

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