Have we lost the joy of Christmas?
It is Christmas and as usual I spend much of this day on the road. Our routine for the past seven years has been to meet at noon on Christmas to exchange not gifts but children, and it saddens my heart to even write it. You would think it would get easier, but it hasn’t. Something about Christmas makes you feel that your family should be together, right? We have learned to make memories with the precious moments we do have, and then become accustomed to living on the road trying not to miss those we love this day. As we travel, I begin to send my little messages to precious friends that are on my heart when I realize how many of those dear to me are praying this day passes quickly. What a sad thought! Christmas is not a day of joy or jubilation, but one of sorrow or loneliness for far too many on my list this year.
A season that reminds them of heartache….the first Christmas without mom for one, and the third for a precious child that has been staying with us, and one like me who made her “exchange” too early, and yet another Christmas without her son for a beautiful woman I shared Thursday with. How is it that what should be the most joyous celebrated day of the year is one of tears for so many? Something to ponder….
And my pondering leads me to this thought...Christmas is too much about us and too little about Him. Despite our shirts claiming "I Believe" and our nativity scenes so beautifully displayed and our family so festively attired at the candlelight service, could we still be missing the essence of this day? If we are honest, are our thoughts more consumed this time of the year with the little desires of our hearts we are hoping someone remembered, or planning meals for family coming in, or preparing for Santa making sure we have everything perfectly wrapped and trees lit and cards sent than how the Christmas story has impacted our lives and who needs desperately to hear it.....the real Christmas story?
If we could truly celebrate Christmas for what it is…..all about Him and His love for us, then it would surely become the very day it was intended to be. A day to celebrate the birth of the King, our Savior, our Redeemer which means life and freedom and love and relationship for all of us. There would be jubilation, no doubt. Uncontainable joy and overwhelming gratitude would fill the heart of every believer. The only tears today would be those unfathomable tears that come from realizing “How Great Thou Art” rather than where are you God? And our souls would cry out “O Holy Night” rather than “I fall to pieces.” Today wouldn't remind us that we are single or lonely or broken or missing or empty, but that we were worthy and chosen and worth sending the perfect child to live and die for. How differently this time of the year could become if we could see through all of the media convincing you that you need to find the perfect gift, and realize it was already given and what that should mean for you and for me!
Tears fell upon me this day trying to cling to the thought that children should be with their mother for Christmas, so I say this guilty of making it about me too, but I pose this question.....can we change? Can it be different next year? Can we be intentional about making it more about Him? Can our pray come from an authentic heart desperate for Him to change us this year so that we are more like Him and we have all the more reason to celebrate next year! It is all about YOU, Father!
Father, will you rewire us to comprehend your love for us this day? Would you touch even the saddest heart this day and breath new life into it? Would you let our thoughts become more of you and less of us this day and every day. May those who are lonely on what should be a joyous day, be wrapped in overwhelming love by the great comforter. May they put on a garment of praise rather than despair. May they dance before Your throne and may they encounter You in new ways even this very day Father. We celebrate You today! We thank you for your love and goodness and kindness and mercy and that you turn beauty from ashes, and work all things for the good of those that love you, and may we trust this truth as we walk with you daily!
In the name of Jesus who came this day so that we might live! Amen
From Our Family to Yours