Christmas is a day of joy. But for me and my family, it is also tinged with sadness, because it is a day when Christopher’s absence is intensely felt.
I have to tell you, Topher loved Christmas! It was always a big deal to him as a little boy, and when he became a father, he wanted it to be a big deal for his daughters. He always was so thoughtful in his choice of gifts and often made them by hand, which was always a special treat for me. He also had fantastic “wrapping skills,” which I am completely devoid of.
On that first Christmas night, while the shepherds kept watch over their flocks, the angel brought this good news: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
This is how heaven celebrated the first Christmas. On this holy night, in effect, heaven momentarily came to earth. Heaven and earth are always co-existing, but sometimes they can seem worlds apart and other times separated by only a thin veil. When tragedy hits, when illness prevails, heaven can sometimes seem distant.
But when we join the angels in worship, and see God in His greatness, heaven can seem so very, very close. For us as believers, we are just a heartbeat away from heaven right now. As David put it, “There is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3).
Christmas in heaven is better than Christmas on earth. It is pure bliss. Not twinkling lights, but the radiant light of heaven itself. Not metal angels on trees, but real, holy angels of God all around.
You see, in heaven there is peace. On earth there is war. In heaven there is perfect harmony. On earth there is often friction among family and friends. In heaven, feasting and perfection. On earth there is fattening food and expanding waistlines.
We don’t need to sorrow for our loved ones who are celebrating Christmas in heaven, but we do sorrow for ourselves over their absence.
Today, however, remember to let the ones on earth you love know it. Tell them verbally. Because you never know if you or I or someone we hold dear might be in heaven next Christmas.