Is this your first Christmas without a loved one present on earth? Or is this Christmas yet another lonely year without them? While Christmas is often spent with family and friends, for those who’ve lost a loved one to death the holidays can become a season of stinging pain and unquiet-ed aching because a cherished one has passed beyond reach to be laughed with, dined with, and enjoyed. This universal loss is agonizing, but Christians have hope because this separation is temporary – it’s as if our cherished one is away on vacation (is heaven not the ultimate awesome destination?!), and in a little while we will join them, seeing their face and hearing their voice again. Whether the time apart from our loved one is a few years or a few decades, we know that when we exhale our last breath we will enter the kingdom of heaven where we are as alive as our loved one because we both have been washed clean from sin and made holy and allowed to stand in the presence of God. What a hope we have within us!
Why do we find comfort in joining our Christian loved ones after death? Because Jesus comforted his disciples that although he were about to leave them upon his death and subsequent departure from earth, Jesus said he would come again to receive them so that they would dwell in that place with Him and His Father (John 14:1-6). Further Biblical truth reveals the hope of those who follow Jesus: 1 Cor 15:51-55 “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed…O death where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”.
If you have not been cleansed of sin (the bad things you do) but want to, then you can now! Only believe Jesus’ words in John 14:1, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” and in Mark 1:15 “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” If you have at some time repented and followed Jesus, you may not spend this Christmas or the next with your believing dear one, but you can spend it cherishing them and looking forward to making new memories in just a little while – thanks to the One for whom we celebrate the holiday, sweet Jesus.