Joy, Peace, Hope, Love

Straight Talk with Sam

After what has been an incredibly difficult year, we enter a season that is supposed to be marked by joy, peace, hope, and love.

Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our health, our schedules, and our lives. The 24-hour news cycle and our social media feeds seem to easily consume us, driving our attention away from what’s really important this, and every Christmas.

So how do we manage to pull joy, peace, hope and love out of a year that has drawn out the opposite? While there are rays of hope, it can be easy to throw up our hands and say all is lost. All is not lost.

I’ll admit, it’s an odd year to say, “be joyful.” It can be done, though. It could be a reunion with family members we haven’t seen for a while, the health of those around us, or the anticipation of a new grandchild. While it might take searching for the little things this year, I’m confident that those little things may be most important after all.

No matter what your celebration looks like this year, it is my hope that you take time to unplug, turn off the TV, put down the phone, and press forward with a focus on what is important in life. May we find a little peace in turning down the noise.

In the midst of it, don’t forget that there are those who don’t get the option of taking a break. Our healthcare workers, first responders, and millions of others know what it’s like to work on holidays. This year will be even more difficult. Don’t forget them as you celebrate. If anyone’s daily work has been marked by love this year, it’s them.

As different as our celebrations might be this time around, as difficult as the last 8 months might have been, there is hope on the horizon through the work that our doctors, scientists and others have done to make a path forward and get things back on track.

Yet, please don’t miss where we ultimately find our hope. It’s in the reason for why we celebrate—the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  

This season, may you take time to look for and find the joy, peace, hope and love that this season offers.

Merry Christmas!

Sam Graves