This Christmas Message
In Church on Sunday, our Pastor told us a story:
“In a Sunday School class, a teacher stated to her students, “Who can tell me what Christmas means?”. The kids provided a few answers, “Santa Claus, presents, snow, lots of food, Jesus.”
“That is right,” said the teacher. “Let’s talk a little bit about the birth of Jesus.” Before she could proceed, an eight-year-old girl exclaimed, “He was born again!”
There was lots of laughter, but some of us may feel that the Christmas story is now dull after hearing it so many times. Pastors struggle to present it in many different ways every year so as not to regurgitate the same thing over and over. This Christmas may be different or the same for many. Feelings of excitement, energy, enthusiasm, and a hint of surprise. We also realize there may be those that feel loneliness, trepidation, and even pain during this season.
Love of Christmas
Christmas is a time of joy and yes some loneliness and pain for me. As I grieved last year, missing my mom dearly, this verse spoke to my heart:
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
It was a gentle reminder that a great way to overcome the feelings of loneliness, grief, and pain, was to remove SELF and focus on others. To pray, serve, and show extra love to others in my community and family. But above all, to ignore SELF and rejoice because this is the season that we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Ignoring SELF is never easy, but the busier we become in serving, praying, worshiping and rejoicing, is the more that SELF disappears.
Let us remember this Christmas that the Christmas story should never be one that is boring to us. No matter the season of life we are in, there should be that feeling of awe and thankfulness. An abounding well of gratitude, glory, and praise to our God for His infinite wisdom.
Prayer: Holy Father, the spirit of Christmas is being overwhelmed with the story of Santa, gifts, and lovers of SELF. Amidst all the pressures to make others happy by giving gifts, may we remember the true story of Christmas. For those of us that may find the season painful because of experiences or memories, may we always remember that no matter the storm, we are to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen
May God’s love, grace and mercy be with you.