Last December my oldest son and I made a trip to the eye doctors. “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was playing one the radio. An older gentleman–once vibrant now on decline–waits. Confusion cloud’s his mind–making him angry. He is going from the light to darkness–dementia. It could be any of us…someday this robbing of the mind. Compassion for this man wells within, and I am reminded that for some…it may not be…the most wonderful time of the year.
Trees dressed with glowing lights, multi-colored bulbs sprinkled with glitter, tinsel, and red and white candy canes. Boughs of evergreens draped over arches, candles illuminating windows, and bright red bows complementing green wreaths. Christmas carols play festive over radios, holiday greetings arrive in the mail, and happy holidays are sang from one and all. By all accounts it does seem to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, for many, it is not.
Illness, aloneness, family strife, and hearts that have been wounded and broken–all are present. Yet, we often expect this to be the one day of the year when all is perfect. Why do we expect so much? Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? When even our Savior’s birth was not the perfect situation.
A young unmarried virgin is pregnant–an offense which could have resulted in her being stoned–with the Son of God. Her betrothed almost divorced her. She had to travel, pregnant and scared to Bethlehem. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child. Luke 2:4-5 There were no hospitals or even a vacancy at the inn for which to deliver her child. No, she gave birth to the Savior of the world in a stable–animals standing near, muck and filth. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
God’s Son–the Savior of all mankind–came into this world in a less than favorable environment. Perhaps it’s time we give ourselves a break, stop worrying whether we have all our ducks in a row, and practice a simple Christmas focused on the One who is the reason for the season–Jesus. Let’s show His love to those who are hurting and in need of hope. Tell the true story of Christmas…God’s story of love and redemption. He who is our Healer…Redeemer…Savior. Let the light of God be what shines bright this Christmas!
Count Blessings, Kasey