Christmas is rightly a time for celebration, laughter and joy with friends and family. However, for many of us, Christmas is also a time for tears. The season can be a painful reminder of broken relationships, loneliness and the loss of loved ones.

The picture of the first Christmas is not so different. God’s people, Israel, had been waiting in silence for 400 years – longing for someone to deliver them from exile. A jealous King Herod ordered mass genocide in Bethlehem, killing all boys under two years old (Matthew 2:16). Christmas begins with a picture of pain, oppression and tears.

However, out of this tragedy, comes hope. God announces that through a child, he will bring salvation to the world. This child comes to heal brokenness, restore peace and implant everlasting joy into the hearts of all who trust in him.

The picture of the first Christmas is joy through tears. Though Christmas may be a time for mourning, because of Jesus it is also a time for hope. May your season be marked by a solid, permanent joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ our Lord who will one day put all things right.