May your Christmas be merry and bright; so we tell ourselves and each other; creating layers of guilt for those already trying to fabricate merry and bright. I think Christmas has become so secularized in our culture that for many people it is more painful than pleasurable. It has become a time of rush rather than rest, responsibilities rather than remembrance.
For many people this year, Christmas will not be what we have romanticized it to be because we have turned Christmas into something it is not. Christmas has evolved into a holiday that predicates feel-good feelings, happiness and always wearing a smile. Christmas is not about fancy feelings; it is about a faithful Father who sacrificed His Son to secure freedom for sinners like you and me. Happy feelings are circumstantial and many people are enduring unimaginable circumstances as I type.
This year there will be empty chairs around family tables for the first time; not so merry, not so bright. Families will be spilt apart by death or divorce; not so merry; not so bright. There will be a diagnosis weighing on everyone’s mind, making Christmas not so merry, not so bright. Constant reminders of the fallen world we occupy, feelings of loneliness and an emptiness within that cannot be satiated by anything under the sun; not so merry, not so bright.
Pulverized pieces of our fractured lives, and along comes the modernized version of a feel-good Christmas. December 25th is about the joy and the hope we have because a baby boy was born who would become The Savior of a suffering world. The birthday of a baby boy who was born to absorb all our sins so that we may enjoy a flawless Heaven despite our fleshly hearts.
This Christmas, friends pray for protection against the enemy’s attacks of feeling guilty or condemned if your heart is not so merry, not so bright. Hold on to the real significance of Christmas; an eternity of no pain, no suffering, no evil, no war.
Christmas is a time of celebration, but if it is only about the present we will be left with more pain. If Christmas is about celebrating what we have lost, and more importantly, what we are to gain, it will not be perfect but certainly peaceful.
When we celebrate the real message of Christmas, we discover because of Jesus, His peace does mingle with our pain.
May you be surrounded by many warm hugs, empathetic hearts and a message of hope this holiday season. You are loved!