by John Thurman
This Christmas will mark a first for me. It will be a bittersweet one because my mama went to be with the Lord on December 3, 2016.
Her death was not a shock or a surprise. For the past several years she fought off the effects of COPD until she was no longer able to breathe. That Friday, she took her last breath on Earth and her first breath in the presence of the Lord. She was surrounded by her family and her family doctor.
My mama loved this time of year! As a florist and small business owner, she enjoyed preparing for the Advent Season and was a joy-filled bundle of energy during the Holidays. I have many memories of some of the extraordinary things that she and my dad did for us during Christmas time.
Like many of you who have experienced a loss in the past year or two, I will rejoice at the memories from my childhood and adult years with my mom. I accept the fact we are born, we live a life in between the dash, our start date and out end date and then we pass from this earth. My mama had a great run between her birth and death. She lived a full and meaningful life, her dash between these dates touched many people and she gave my brothers and sisters an example of resilience and a positive attitude.
For those of you on this shared journey, I hope that this Christmas will be a hope-filled, joyful season for you while you both mourn the loss and celebrate the memories of your loved one.
While I love the story of the birth of Jesus and have had the blessing of visiting his birthplace in Bethlehem, I am reminded that his birthplace is only minutes away from where he died and rose from the dead.
While we celebrate the birth of the baby, Jesus let’s remember one of the earliest confessions of the church.
As a reminder, at this time, there was no New Testament, and very few people were literate. This confession was an instructional tool used to help early believers understand some fundamental doctrine about Jesus Christ.
The Apostle’s Creed or Nicene
This creed was first formulated at the First Ecumenical Council, held at Nicene, located in what is now Turkey, in 325, as a response to the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. It was revised at the Second Ecumenical Council, held at Constantinople in 381 as a response to the Macedonian or Pneumatomachian heresy, which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him, all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made a man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day, he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son, he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Special Note: The word “catholic” with a lower-case ‘c’ does not mean the Roman Catholic Church, but the universal Christian Church as a whole.
My hope, as you and I work through the losses that we have experienced, we will have a sense of hope, peace, and comfort
I love what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3: 3-4
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others”.
Focus on the Family has some wonderful articles on dealing with the Holidays after losing a loved one.
You might also enjoy a post from a couple of years ago. Don’t Let Your Sugar Plumbs Turn to Prunes
Here is a link to a great article on Good Parenting Skills from www.findmykids.org
May you have a Merry and Meaningful Christmas.
Please feel free to make a comment or add your thoughts.