We live in a world of pain and brokenness. We live in a world in which we feel the ominous presence of death’s dark shadows. Each time someone we love receives that dreadful diagnosis of cancer or COVID-19, we have a keen sense that this is not the way things are supposed to be.
Things are not as they should be. We live in a world tainted by darkness. Pain forces us to evaluate our view of reality, our view of pain and suffering, our view of ourselves, eternity, and God. Pain and death in this world remind us that we are made for another world.
This weekend, my family will lay my grandfather, “Papa Jimmy” to rest. After a difficult and sudden battle with COVID, pneumonia, and an infection, Papa departed this life on Tuesday December 1, 2020 and entered his heavenly home. When I received the news that he had passed away, I was sad. I loved that man. He modeled faithfulness to God and our family. Again, death’s dark shadows have impacted my family.
While my family is grieving over our loss, we rejoice that Papa Jimmy understood and believed the Gospel. He put his trust in Jesus the Messiah, who puts deaths dark shadows to flight. We grieve, but not as those without hope. For more on Godly grief, check out my post from last June.
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is , “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.
Advent is the Christian celebration in which we reflect back on Christ’s first arrival and eagerly anticipate His return.
The third stanza has ministered to me during this time.
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
Jesus our Messiah does disperse the gloomy clouds of night. He puts death’s dark shadows to flight.
On the day of Jesus’ return, we will sing with Papa Jimmy and Mamaw Opal and all the saints who have gone before. We will sing the triumphant chorus Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15.
[1Co 15:54-57 KJV] 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? 56 The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whatever you are facing today, remember the Spirit of Christmas. Jesus our Messiah puts death’s dark shadows to flight.