By Pastor Andrew Sanders, Fairfax United Methodist Church

I’m sure that each of us is busy working into this beautiful advent season as we are reminded of God’s continual presence with us. This time of year reminds us of the greatest gift and miracle that has ever been given to humanity, the moment that heaven and earth came together. Each of us has been blessed and touched by God in some way throughout our lifetime whether it was the birth of children, the healing of loved ones, the answers to prayers, or if we can think of nothing else, simply our own birth.

This should be a joyous season full of laughter and love as we reflect on all the things above but not all may be in a place where this may come easy for them. Some may be struggling to find that place of hope because the reality of life is that it is hard, or they have suffered unimaginable loss. My heart breaks for the people who are hurting and so does God’s as He looks into each situation recognizing that we live in a broken fallen world.

This is why this time of year should give all hope no matter where we might be spiritually and emotionally. We have a God who saw the world’s brokenness, a world that was hurting and distant from Him. To solve this He came down in human form as His son, born of a virgin. This miracle was performed to reconcile all of humanity to Him. This miracle is a reminder that God knows exactly what it is that we are going through as He himself experienced every harshness that this world has to offer, and yet He still loves us, He still wants a relationship with us, He is still a loving grace filled God who isn’t interested in what we have done wrong but instead is interested in our hearts.

This season is busy, but we are called to be Christ’s body here on earth. Take the time to reach out to someone who maybe is having a hard time feeling the joy of the season. Help them to experience God’s love this advent and all through the coming year. We can be the present, or presence, that someone is needing to make this time of year become a bright beacon of hope instead of a time of darkness.

God sent Christ into the world so that the world may be saved through Him. This moment that heaven and earth intersects gives us the reality that one day Jesus will return and on that day all anguish, loneliness, hurting and loss will exist no more – only love, grace, hope and reconciliation will reign through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

May each of you and your families have a Merry Christmas as we continue to live out our lives knowing that we have a glorious, grace filled God who loves all the world and the people on it.

Merry Christmas!