I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the sweet treats, and the extra time spent with loved ones. It’s the time of year that snow is welcome and hot chocolate covers a multitude of sorrows.
When the Christmas spirit hits me, I’m ready to jump in and enjoy the activities of the holiday. First there are the decorations, then all those gifts to buy–and wrap while watching sappy Christmas movies — then all that baking (of foods that we’ll be shunning the month after in light of our new year’s resolutions). I love to burn candles that smell like Christmas and listen to Christmas music as I go about my day. It’s a joyful time, full of fun, gift giving, and child-like wonder.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with approaching Christmas like this. I believe God enjoys watching us take joy in the blessings we have and celebrating life. But sometimes we’re not in the mood to celebrate. Some years I just don’t seem to have that “Christmas spirit.”
Maybe Christmas isn’t a joyful time for you this year. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or are under such a heavy burden right now that the twinkling lights are just not enough to dispel the dark clouds. I want you to know that I understand, and it’s OK.
If this Christmas is difficult, don’t beat yourself up for not being in “the Christmas mood.” This might be the year that you have to give yourself permission to take a step back from the standard American Christmas. If so, this is also the year that you need, more than ever, to capture the real joy that is Christmas.
Use this time to pull away from the noise and to hear God’s sweet, calming voice. Hear Him calling for you to join Him in a borrowed, lowly stable. Feel the quiet all around you, and let God usher that quiet into your own heart. See the baby, there in a manger, as human as human can be, yet entirely God.
The trouble that is keeping you from feeling the Christmas spirit, that darkness that hovers over you and keeps your joy subdued; that is why this baby has come. <<-Tweet That))
This baby has come to bring light into a dark world — your dark world.
Recently I was reading through the New Testament in the Message translation. Matthew 4:16 grabbed my heart. It reads:
People sitting out their lives in the dark?
saw a huge light;?
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,?
they watched the sun come up.
What a beautiful image!
Even if you’re sitting in a dark, dark, country, it’s time to watch the sun come up.
No matter what is happening in your world today, there is joy to be found.
Someone in your life needs to be given permission to pull back this Christmas, and just breathe in the reality of our savior. Please share this with them by clicking the share buttons below.