Can you remember the past six Christmases? What have been your favorite memories? How much has your life changed over that time?
While many in the Middle East don’t celebrate Christmas, some do. And for them, this will be the sixth Christmas in crisis.
Whether or not those suffering from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are Christian, this is a traumatic era in the lives of innocent people in the region. And until peace is restored, and the suffering of vulnerable people persists, I’m afraid I will continue to write about a Christmas in crisis.
Celebrate Light in Darkness
During the Christmas season, we seek to be merry and bright. And we should. But let’s not do it blind or dismissive of the darkness in the world. The story of Christmas is that Jesus came down as a light into this dark world. Celebrating Christmas should mean that we are shinning bright in the midst and mindful of the darkness around us.
Even though the world is grasping for feel-good stories , we must remember those suffering a Christmas in crisis.
Even though the culture is exhausted by division and partisanship, we must remember those suffering a Christmas in crisis because they are exhausted by deep social divisions too.
Even though we desire to retreat to the love of friends and family during this holiday season, we must remember those suffering a Christmas in crisis because they long for loved ones too.
Even though we seek to block out scenes of despair and cruelty at a time we seek to be cheery, we must remember those suffering a Christmas in crisis because they yearn for happiness too.
Even though we don’t want to think about problems we feel are out of our control, we must remember those suffering a Christmas in crisis because neither do they.
Jesus was born into a season of conflict. On the run. In danger. That first Christmas was a Christmas in conflict.
Responding to a Christmas in Crisis
Here are four things I would like for you to consider:
- Please consider adding the innocent people of Syria and Iraq, suffering under siege, war, and displacement in your prayers this Christmas season. Even consider including it in your Christmas prayers with your family and friends.
- Download and Share the “More than a Refugee” ebook, a great resource to understand the plight of nearly 60 million people around the world who have been forced from their homes.
- If you Sponsor a Child with Food for the Hungry already, consider signing up for Children in Crisis. It’s a small monthly pledge that will directly benefit thousands for children, like those from Syria and Iraq that we intermittently see on the news, pursue a future where they can not only survive, but thrive.
- Donate now to Disaster Relief to make a life-saving impact on those suffering from both human and natural disasters around the world.
Even though we don’t like to think of the Christmas story in that light, we must remember is was a Christmas in conflict because it is elemental to the reason for the season.