The Advent/Christmas season is a time of great joy and also a time of real challenge for many people. The challenge many times arises from the sentiment of the season which invokes in us a variety of emotions. Emotions may be sadness or grief born out of the loss of a loved one, the disruption of the relationship, or the absence of anything that we clung to deeply in our life. The first Christmas after a great loss can be very, very difficult. That is totally understandable. One only has to look to the cross to see how deeply significant people in salvation history have been affected by loss. At the same time Christmas reminds us of the great love God has for each and every one of us and the trust that he asks us to put in Him. I pray that this season will be a time of rejoicing for you and your loved ones with a renewed hope that Jesus is with us every step of our journey.