The sights and sounds of Christmas are already appearing, even though it’s mid-October. The retailers seek to lengthen the bonanza of buying and giving, and so the nostalgic images and irresistible bargains start flooding in.  For many people, it’s a welcome time – one long merged fall-winter celebration. But for many who are experiencing suffering or pain, this long season only serves to remind them of what they’ve lost.  And they dread it.

For me, no other seasonal holiday takes me back to my childhood quite like Christmas.  Where many of my earliest memories are vague, my childhood Christmas memories are vivid.  I remember specific meals, standing in the kitchen watching my Mom put the finishing touches on delicacies I couldn’t wait to sample.  I remember laying under the tree looking up through the branches and the kaleidoscope of spinning ornaments and colored lights.  I remember the restless, cheerful agony of the Christmas Eve service, which was always followed in our home with a special dinner and then PRESENTS!  And of course, my wife and I have kept all our traditions alive and have enjoyed the added blessing of viewing the season through the eyes of our children.

But what of those whose childhood was marred by divorce or poverty or abuse?  What of those who cannot see past their physical pain or addiction?  What of those who have lost a precious child or parent and feel a terrible void in their lives? What of those who always hoped for better, but better has never come? Can we find joy and hope at Christmas even in the midst of suffering?

Here is the most important truth about Christmas.  God became flesh, and He dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.  That really happened.  And having God among us for those brief 33 years absolutely transformed the world.  It did not eliminate our pain, but it provided a way to know our God in a personal way. Far from being aloof and judgmental, it revealed a God who is loving, healing, forgiving, and kind.  Starting life as an innocent baby, he’s the only human being who stayed innocent throughout his entire life. He showed us how to love, how to obey, how to live.

See Him this Christmas season. See Him for who He is. The nostalgia of Christmas may bring you pain, but Jesus Himself will not hurt you. He will love you.  One song in our HealingStream Christmas concert gives this invitation:


Look at His cradle, where He came to earth

Look at the cross, where He bought us new birth

Look at His crown of infinite worth –

That’s where you’ll find the Lord!

Master, Savior, Redeemer of men

Wonderful Counselor, Ruler of Heaven,

Worship before Him, lay your heart down

At the cradle, the cross, and the crown. ©


If you are hurting in this Holiday season, please join us at a HealingStream Christmas concert at the Blessing House.  You will find love, support, prayer, and healing in a setting that is as warm and beautiful as you can imagine.

May God bless you with a new joy and a new hope this Christmas!

© The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown ã Mark Solfelt 1993

HealingStream Christmas - Finding Hope in the Holidays