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December 24, 2012

2012 will be remembered as a year of significant loss for me and my family. A major illness took away a good part of the year with a leg amputation, weeks of hospitalization and months of therapy which are still in progress.

The Christmas story is full of loss as well. These difficult emotions were shared by Mary, who lost her reputation, Joseph, who thought he was losing a marriage, and some families under Herod’s rule, who lost sons in the slaughter of the innocents.

But if loss is all we had to look back on, whether in first-century Palestine or the Alderman home in 2012, what a sad thought that would be! The truth is that the Christmas story and the entire plan of God for the whole world is a message of gain. We don’t have to focus on loss in the past or in our current circumstances. We don’t even have to fear loss in our future because the gain of Christ overcomes all loss this world can throw at us.

The angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14, ESV). For those who believe in this baby sent for the forgiveness of sin and lead lives changed by His sanctifying presence - in other words, those with whom he is pleased - God’s design is all about gain.

Many have faced great loss this year, some in the last few days. But the provision of God through Jesus lets us see a higher purpose for the loss and lets us experience the first promises of the gain which we who believe will see fully someday.

Tracy, Megan and I thank you for standing with us in prayer, finances and love through the nightmare we had in 2012. But the loss we endured was nothing compared to the blessing God gave us in you. We wish you and your family a joyful time as you celebrate the gain we can have in Christ through faith in him.

Brent Alderman
State Director, Maryland