Scanning the radio for Christmas carols, the car radio blared out,
Itís the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling youíll be of good cheer . .
As I drove, I sang along to the happy tune and was thankful for the joy I felt in that moment. Yet, I also thought of the many times it didnít ring true for me. That iconic song doesnít always ring true for others either. Many people feel a sense of not measuring up to the perfect ďInstagram momentĒ of creating beautiful decorations and dinner tables. They feel pressured to perform at a time of year that is often the busiest time of year. Who needs that extra stress? And for those who are grieving a loss, the joy of the season often amplifies that loss. To cope, people may keep themselves extra busy to ignore their feelings, or choose to ignore the season altogether and just plod on to get through it. For others, thereís a discord in their spirit and they canít explain why the season creates such sadness. They hear the songs and noises of the season as they shop, yet, they canít shake the depression that creeps in. And as a Christian, you may then feel guilty that you donít feel like
celebrating the Lordís birth. (More pressure!)
Do you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now?
I too have experienced all of those depressing scenarios. As the song played, I was reminded of this eternal truth:
followers of Jesus are sojourners here; we are citizens of another kingdom.
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly
the Savior, the Lord Jesus
Christ;" Philippians 3:20.
Yes, there are joyful, happy moments. But truth is, Christians
should feel a sense of discord here. Something isnít right, because this earth is not our home.
Even so, this really is the most wonderful time of year! Not because of kids jingle belling, much mistletoing, and hearts a-glowing. Itís the most wonderful time of year, because this is when we celebrate God becoming flesh, and bursting forth into humanity to come alongside of us in our sadness and suffering and in our joys too!
This Christmas, let us focus on the true reason for the season: Jesusí birth was for his death; his death was for our birth! And let us be mindful that whatever difficulty we experience, as followers of Jesus, it wonít always be so. He is coming again. He will wipe
away every tear from our eyes. In that day, he will make all things new; everything will be perfect!
Letís pray: Dear Lord, thank you for coming to earth to save us from our sins. Help us to rejoice in this truth and not get distracted or disheartened by all the noise! Amen.