Christmas is a difficult time for a whole bunch of people. It has a way of reminding us of what we don’t have. A tree stands tall. Stockings dangle from the mantle. The smell of gingerbread lingers in the hall. Hallmark movies play on the television. And piles of presents sit happily nearby.
But something is missing. Actually, someone is missing. And Christmas looks more like a bucket of sorrow than a cup of good cheer.
If so, this message is for you.
“Why would a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?”
It’s a question theologians and philosophers have debated for ages. I recall sitting in a theology class last year, studying what is often called the “problem of evil.” And to this day, humanity struggles to reconcile evil and God. After all, if God is all-powerful and perfect, then why does evil exist?
Well, my aim this week is not to write a philosophical analysis of why evil and suffering exist. There are much smarter theologians out there who can provide much better answers. But in continuation of my “Jesus Understands” series, I want to ponder a truth that should really shift our perspective on pain and suffering.
We’ve all been rejected by someone at one time or another. Maybe it was a cute girl in elementary school; The popular guy in high school; A co-worker, boss, spouse, mother-in-law, or lousy friend. I think you get the point. Rejection is a painful reality of life.
But Jesus understands rejection.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of God into our world. Theologians call it the incarnation. It’s a fancy word representing both the humanity and divinity of Christ. God in human flesh. And while it may seem complicated to grasp, Christmas cannot happen without it.
The Bible says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV).