This has been a difficult year in many ways. I didn’t write a Christmas letter to slip in with the cards that Nancy faithfully selects, writes personal notes in, and stays up all hours to hand address. Come to think about it, I didn’t write a Christmas letter last year either. Twelve months ago, it was a mixture of fatigue, laziness, and a lack of time that drained the creative juices and stopped the project.
This year was just too difficult. In one of the Christmas cards to a dear, but distant friend, I wrote that this had been a year of blessings with a heavy dose of tragedy and a sprinkling of comedy. After further thought, I realized that was a pretty good summary statement. And it’s a statement that works not only for us, but for so many others around us.
For whatever reason, I have been fixated on how different things are becoming for us. And, in so doing, I think I’ve lost the broader view of what life is. Life is something different every day. Death is day after day with no change.
I have to admit I’m weary of some of the different that’s coming our way. Yet, I remind myself of what I learned from my good friend, Preacher Eddie. He was telling the story of Jesus calming the storm with that powerful order — “Peace, be still!”
As Preacher Eddie preached on, he asked us to consider the point of that story. I have to admit that I centered on the power of God, the Creator, and the awesome might of His mere words. And, as Eddie reminded, that is part of the story.
What I missed was what happened next. Jesus turned to his disciples and basically said, “So, what were you worried about? Did you forget that I’m right here in the boat with you?”
So, even though I can’t bring myself to writing a Christmas letter this year, I want you to know that the whole story of Christmas is this:
Jesus is in the boat. Whatever the change that comes, whatever the tragedy, God is next to us. Spreading blessings, sprinkling comedy.
Isn’t life great? When the waves grow a little threatening and wind howls around us, Nancy and I just turn to each other and say, “Remember, Jesus is in the boat.”
Merry Christmas. . .