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One Christmas Closer
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Four years ago, my family and I wondered how we would make it through Christmas. For the first time in our lives there would be an empty seat at the holiday table, a face missing from the family photo, and one less present under the tree. Several months earlier, my brother had died after a brave battle with cancer. Our hearts were still aching. Who felt like celebrating? Christmas had always been such a big event for our family when I was growing up. And even when my siblings and I got married and had families of our own, we always came home for Christmas.

But we did survive that first Christmas without Dan. We did it by remembering—by looking back with a smile and sometimes even with laughter, at memories of Christmases-gone-by. More importantly, we did it by looking forward—by believing in the hope that one day we would see my brother again.

Sitting around the Christmas tree at my parents’ house that first Christmas without him, we realized that all our hopes for being a whole family again depended on a Baby born over two thousand years ago.  Here’s how the Bible describes the One who brought hope to the world: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

We Needed...

We needed a Wonderful Counselor: we felt sad and discouraged.
We needed a Mighty God: we were weak.
We needed an Everlasting Father: we wanted to be held.
We needed a Prince of Peace: our minds longed for rest.

In other words, this Baby was exactly what we needed—what the whole world needed.

If you’re missing a family member this Christmas, this Baby is exactly who you need, also. Because He was born one silent night, someday He will return with a shout loud enough to wake the dead! And your family will be reunited forever.

So go ahead. Celebrate this Christmas. Celebrate Jesus’ birth and all it means. Celebrate the memories. And celebrate the fact that you are one Christmas closer to seeing your loved one again.
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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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