When Holidays Are Hard

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 bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:14-16 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, I’m always thankful you give “grace upon grace,”—as this passage affirms. But holidays make me even more grateful for your hyper-provision. I woke up today feeling the weight of many friends, and the wait of deep longings. Thank you for your heart-engaging, burden-bearing, peace-instilling love.

I pray for friends facing their first Christmas having recently committed a loved one to eternity. Death is a thief whose robbery is most profoundly felt during holidays. Grant grace upon grace for those families, perhaps still raw with the loss and grief. No one is as compassionate as you, Jesus. Bring your tenderness and nearness to bear.

Thank you for coming into our world to defeat sin and death, which you have magnificently done. The next time we see you, you will eradicate sin and death, once and for all. Hasten the Day of eternal delight, dancing, and no more goodbyes.

I also pray for friends bracing to endure this week, and Christmas day in particular. Old wounds get easily triggered; brokenness get supersized; messy relationships seem messier; loneliness feels it’s loneliest. Grant grace upon grace, in those complex scenarios and difficult stories. The world into which you were born was filled with madness and sadness. You shy away from neither, Jesus. Thank you.

Surprise us with your calming, healing, liberating presence. Sweeten the bitter waters of our brokenness with the new wine of your kindness. Free each of us to offer your welcome, forgiveness, and kindness. Do more than we can ask or imagine. Grant grace upon grace to all of us, Lord Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.