Around 2 am last year on the Sunday before Christmas, there was a large crash in the family room of my home. It jarred me awake and then I waited, trying to figure out what would cause noise of that magnitude. 

After the initial crash there was more noise. It sounded as if the blinds on one of the windows were also falling down. The only thing that made logical sense was that someone was entering my home through a window. 

I quietly got up and stuck my head out my bedroom door. There was a figure coming in through the window, dressed in dark clothing. You can imagine my surprise as the voice spoke, “Don’t worry, it’s just me.” 

“Andrew????” (My son).

“Yes – I forgot to tell you that I’ve lost my house key.” 

After my heart moved back into my chest out of my throat, I was relieved . . . then livid. 

“Andrew, really??? Do you know what time it is and do you realize you just scared the crap out of me? WHY are you breaking into your own home????”

“I told you, I forgot my key. I’m sorry – I didn’t want to wake you because I knew you had to work tomorrow and it’s a big day.” 

“So you thought breaking into the house would be a great alternative to waking me up like a normal person? Just go to bed . . . we’ll figure out how to fix the window screen tomorrow.” 

Although I was rather ticked at Andrew, I was just so grateful to have him home for a few days it was pretty easy to forgive the “breaking an entering.” Even though now, a year later, the screen still isn’t fixed. 

When we approach the Christmas season, we can recognize that it doesn’t guarantee us “merry and bright.”  Not yet. But it does promise that merriness and brightness are breaking in. Christmas, at its best, gives us a glimpse of the uncompromised joy that is coming. We can glimpse it, even from afar, we have a foretaste of what is yet to come. Like the apostle Paul, and the man of sorrows himself, we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). We may bear some sorrows at Christmas, and yet in Christ, by his Spirit, God also gives us the power to rejoice.