Hapshkba, Emily, Megan, Catherine & Rebecca

All of creation has been groaning until the present time.
Pastures, plateaus, plains, they groan.
Mountains, they mourn.
When will come the time of rejoicing? of singing together?
We are waiting for you. Draw near, God.
Draw near to the oppressed, the perplexed,
the broken, the bitter, the burning.
Be faithful, though we have gone astray.
Make yourself known to us.
Remind us that your grace is sufficient,
that your power is made perfect in weakness.
Spirit, help us. Come to us.

—Hapshiba Kwon, 21


To Those Feeling Left Out

The Christmas story includes many different characters—from royalty to people working in the fields. I especially love knowing that the shepherds spent time with the baby Jesus. I love knowing that God invited people working dirty jobs on the midnight shift to welcome our Savior at his birth. Sometimes we feel that we are not good enough for others or for God. But the shepherds’ presence in the Christmas story reminds us that the God of love longs to be with all of us.

—Emily Acker


To Those Carrying Heavy Burdens

Carrying what seemed like the weight of the world on my shoulders, I experienced a severe panic attack. “God, take this anxiety away from me,” I whispered through my tears. The stress of work, relationships, and hardship had become too much for me. Desperate to rid the otherwise silent room of the sound of my sobs, I turned on my music. “Arms Wide Open” by Misty Edwards began to play. As she sang about Christ’s great love for us, I felt a sense of reassurance that I was not alone. This Christmas, welcome the One who promises always to be present with us.

—Megan Christy


To Those Living in Darkness

Many teens and adults struggle with addiction, and their struggles often go unseen. One night a friend approached me; and with tears welling up in her eyes, she told me about her battle with addiction. I was baffled—surprised by her admission and humbled that she would trust me to walk with her on this journey. I told her that I believe God sees our struggles and accepts us as we are. As she began to cry, she told me that these were the words she had been needing to hear. In that moment, I realized that the light of Christ can shine through us.

—Catherine Vaughan, 19



God Comes to Us

At Christmas, we celebrate that our God comes to us so that we might know God. We rejoice that our Creator comes to heal the Earth. We proclaim that our God becomes one of us to show us the way to life. No matter how stressful the season becomes or how uncomfortable our family time feels, we still can celebrate the hope and joy Christ brings. Christmas reminds us that our loving God will always say, “I will come to you.”

—Rebecca Landry

—from devozine (November/December 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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