Christmas Eve 2015 -

I think the whole year finally hit me tonight at our Christmas Eve service, and it hit all at once. 
Suddenly I was without words, in the midst of the carols. I was very quickly not needing singing but needing Someone Else.....

"Jesus" I whispered as the tears gathered and made their way down my cheeks. 

It was a beautiful year in so many ways, but it was also a hard year. 
It was so so hard. It hurt a lot, this year. 

The carols went on without me, as I stayed quiet to listen. 

"Noel, Noel...Come and SEE what God has done!
Noel, Noel, the story of amazing love! The Light of the world, given for us. Noel." 

The tears fell harder as I remembered trying to stand tall and quiet in the mourning of the cemetery.

"Jesus, how could this be?" 

The keening of brokenhearted grief. The knowing of loss. The loneliness. The pain of sin.
The hurts of relationships, all the dreams that won't come true in this realm...
all the ways the world is wrong and broken that makes the cradle, the cross, the empty tomb 
all we've ever hoped and longed for

"The story of amazing love....."

And in that moment of breathless anguish and harder tears....

this quiet Voice: "This is why I came." 

Emmanuel, God with us, with me. 

This is why He came: for our brokenness and grief, our hurt, our fear, our anger, our pain. 
For hopeless sinners, lost and alone. For the redemption of His own. 

To end funerals. To bring us in. To tear the veil. 

"...born to raise us from the grave..."

For all these things, but even more, for His own glory, 
because His Story could not be begin or end with anything but LOVE.

Hail the True and Only King, Who reigns forever and ever in peace. 

With much love always, 
~ Jean Marie ~