This Christmas I have a heavy heart. My friend is dying. He’s got 3 kinds of cancer now, and the doctors aren’t able to remove it anymore. He’s in a lot of pain, and we are all praying for a miracle. Last Christmas another friend of mine was in a similar boat, and despite all our prayers, he passed away suddenly.
Many of us asked God why this happened. Why didn’t God see fit to save my loved one from such suffering? It doesn’t seem fair.
This heart-wrenching question is beautifully answered on that Easter morning when Christ rose from the dead. And even in my grief, I can see the beautiful connection between that holy Christmas night when Jesus was born, and that glorious Easter morn when Christ conquered death.
This past year the LDS Church had a beautiful and moving media campaign called #BecauseOfHim. There are several videos they published, but one really stuck with me. I’ve been watching it as I grieve my friend who, we fear, is soon to leave us.
To watch the video, click on the image of Jesus Christ on the right.
The words are truly moving. I feel compelled to put them here, so you can read them outside the video.
It was Unthinkable, Impossible, Unfathomable, Unprecedented.
A single act that changed history, possibility, destiny.
He was a carpenter, a teacher, an outcast, a leader.
Yet He did what no Carpenter, teacher, outcast, leader, had ever done.
Like all who preceded Him, He lived and He died.
But unlike all who preceded Him, He rose from the dead.
He lived again.
And because He lives, You, and you, and she, and he, and they, and we ALL will live again.
Because of Him, death has no sting, the grave no victory.
We can start again, and again, and again.
Because of Him -Guilt becomes Peace, Regret becomes Relief, Despair becomes Hope.
Because of Him, we have second chances, clean slates, new beginnings.
There is no such thing as the end –Because of Him.
Christmas and Easter= Hope
What comforting knowledge that no matter what happens in this life, no separation is permanent. And no loved one is ever gone forever. As I get older and lose more loved ones, I look more and more forward to the great day when we will be united with those who have gone before.
And the beginning of that celebration is this holy season when we pause in our busy lives to cheer for the birth of our Savior. And celebrate Christmas.
This time is not just about gifts and a beautiful baby in a manger. This time is also the celebration that we don’t have to hope for His coming like those many generations ago had to do. We KNOW He lived. We KNOW He died for us.
To us, these are stories of the past, full of comfort and strength. We don’t worry that He would somehow not succeed.
Because of Him my friends, my family, everyone I love– will live again.
So this Christmas I will celebrate differently. Because now I understand that Christmas and Easter are forever connected.