Nothing Can Keep Christmas from Coming

There will be Christmas this year.

Can’t you sense it?

Despite outward circumstances, (and having to learn a new word – tripledemic) there is also something in the air, the music, the stars in the dark sky, the delicious smells, the flickering firelight, the silence even.

Friend, Christmas will come alright. Because Christ came in that most improbable first Christmas story, and because He is still so close, a breath away, dwelling deep within.

Today my heart echoes “Thanks be to God, for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9.15

Early this morning as I sat wrapped in cozy blankets by the fireside for coffee and morning prayer on an almost-Christmas day, I was studying Paul’s letters to Timothy. As often happens with God’s Word, 4 phrases captured exactly what I want to say to you this Christmas:

  • “I thank God who has given me strength.” 1 Timothy 1.12
  • “I remember you constantly in my prayers.” 2 Timothy 1.3
  • “I long to see you that I may be filled with joy.” 2 Timothy 1.4
  • [My Christmas gifts to you] “Grace, mercy, and peace from God, the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Timothy 1.2

That’s pretty much my own message today.

  • I’m grateful God gave me strength all year and won’t stop now. 
  • I keep praying.
  • I wish I could actually be with you.
  • But since I can’t, I send you these 3 amazing gifts of God’s grace, mercy and peace.

Sometimes someone else’s words speak better than my own:

My Friend Barbara Mahany Shares Her Christmas Morning Prayer

As is my way of keeping Christmas, I will bow my head at the dawn, and I will whisper my litany of prayerfulness. It’s the essence of Christmas to me: to weave the strands of petition into a whole and mighty salutation to God…

I pray and pray for peace… I pray for the shattered masses, awaiting the words – any words – that tell them the world is listening, has heard their cries, awaiting the word that hope is coming to save them.

I pray for children, that in their hours of darkness, the light comes. I pray that someday they understand that each and every day we try and try again to teach each other: this is how you love.

I pray for all of us who, more often than not of late, feel hollowed. Feel jarred and broken by the hatred spewing all around. I pray for our tender hearts and fragile spirits. I pray that we don’t topple. And if we do, I pray for someone strong to come along, to reach out a hand to whisper hope, and pull us to our feet.

I pray for those who haven’t a clue how deeply they teach me each and every day – be it a story on the news, or one passing by in the social media whirl.

I pray for the ones we’ve lost this year, the ones whose words rumble through my head, through my heart, each and every day. I pray for the God who catches the words of this prayer, who catches us all.

More mightily than any prayer I pray of late, I beg Holy God to not abandon us now. To not leave us to our sins and our shattered promises. I promise to love a little bit harder, to live more true to the blessing I was made to be.

I promise to love, God, and I beg You to show us – show me, show every single lost and hungry one of us – the way. The holy, certain way… Amen.” (adapted from “The Stillness of Winter” by Barbara Mahany

And finally, for your treat, a short Nativity from some children (and a mama) who clearly understand the true meaning of Christmas.

“The Hopes and Fears of All the Years are Met in Thee Tonight!” (Phillips Brooks, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

under the mercy, Lucinda

Will you join me in this prayer?

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, she has authored 16 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” , “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most,” “God’s Purpose for You,” and “The Courage to Write.” (Purchasing my books here benefits me as an Amazon associate.) She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at


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  1. Tracy Arntzen on December 14, 2022 at 12:44 pm


    Thank you for this today. iI is a Christmas gift, as I sit bundled in blankets in a room lit by a fire and Christmas lights, your gift of encouragement to wonderful to receive. Merry Christmas and let’s remember Jesus tell us we are to be a light in the world. Matthew 5:14-16

  2. Cyndy Barnes on December 14, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    As it says in Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15b “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Thank you Cindy for sharing your heart and wisdom with us!!! I had tears streaming during the video. It will be shown tonight when Peter and I host our Wednesday night small group, Crossroads! Thank you and may His joy fill you through this season. I know you will miss your Momma!

  3. bam on December 14, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    ohhhhhhhhhh Cindy, i am sitting here with tears streaming down. that beautiful Nativity story, what a gift. what a gift to wash away all the grit of the world, all of the harshness, to leave me sitting here alive to the wonders around me. may joy wrap you this Christmas––joy quietly, joy exuberantly. joy upon joy in your heart. blessings. love, your friend b.

  4. Maggie+Rowe on December 14, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    I’m touched that you quoted that beautiful prayer by Barbara Mahaney, and that I have it to keep after you gifted me with her beautiful book last year. I am rereading it. And how wonderful that she commented on this post as well!

  5. Leslie Logan Golas on December 14, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Cindy, you are so dear to be sending out this Christmas message! I too have been sitting under cozy blankets this morning, reading devotions & praying. I feel so blessed this Christmas season to be filled with the spirit of Jesus, the light in my heart & the light of this world. I love one scripture that you shared. I thank God who has given me strength & I would add, the strength, courage & wisdom to do His will not mine! The nativity play is especially touching as it’s inclusivity shines. Those beautiful children all gifts from God shining through the light of Jesus giving him their gifts in a play. Sweet little lights! It reminds me of the song, This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! As Christians let us share our our kindness, love & joy this Christmas season. Let the light that is within our hearts beam out to others. Merry Christmas & thank you Cindy for all that you do!

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