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The Frozen Ground of Christmas
Tuesday, December 19, 2023 by Sarah Schwerin

My preschool aged son tapped his plastic shovel on the frozen earth. He scrunched up his face. The dark, rich, Kentucky soil he loved to dig in was gone. It had disappeared under a frozen layer that his small arms couldn’t penetrate. Like the green leaves and flowers, maybe his beloved dirt had died?

I kneeled next to my son and wrapped my arms around him. “It’s not dead. Even though it’s winter, life is growing under the ground. Trees and plants are waiting to bloom. The ground will soften in a few months.”

When we look at the winter world around us, we see frozen ground, gray skies, and brown leaves. When it’s dreary and cold outside, the bright greens and reds of Christmas can be jarring. Spring’s promises seem so far away. It is as if our world is dying.

Death takes many forms. The death of a lawn that will need to be replanted. The death of a dream that we thought we’d have by now. The death of a loved one we hoped would never leave us. We can’t escape death. We all die. Even Jesus died.

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. He lived in a world filled with death. His loved ones died and eventually he did too. Wrongfully accused, Jesus died a criminal’s death. Though he had done nothing wrong, Jesus died for all the bad things I had done. He died for all the bad things you would do. He took the punishment we deserved. But he didn’t remain dead. Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death once and for all.

Our world is cold and lifeless. There’s too much death. Like my son, we bang our plastic shovels on our hard lives and we cry out. But then Jesus kneels down next to us. He wraps his arms around us and comforts us.

The death of this world is only temporary. Spring will return. The snow will melt, and new life will once again fill the world. When we ask Jesus to live in our hearts, we will live with him forever. No more winter. No more death.

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots,” Isaiah 11:1, NKJV.

“Still, it’s what GOD had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him,” Isaiah 53:10, MSG.

Photo courtesy of https://pixabay.com/

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