“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’” – Luke 2:10-11
Since the stroke of midnight on November 1, it seems as though the world has gone into a Christmas frame of mind. The pumpkin-spice was replaced by peppermint sticks, and except for that turkey eating Thursday known as Black Friday Eve, we’ve been told that we’re simply having a wonderful Christmastime!
This is evident as you drive around town seeing people pay homage to Clark Griswold by stringing more lights on their houses than most airport runways. It’s evident when you hear people feeling bold enough to admit that they enjoy watching the Hallmark Christmas movies in public. But perhaps it is most evident when you scroll down the radio dial to that one station which has for nearly two months played nothing but Christmas songs.
It’s not to say that I am opposed to Christmas music. I tend to prefer choral or instrumental Christmas carols. What I do not like is popular music artists and their attempts to ensure royalties for the rest of their lives from the playing of their renditions of classic carols, or worse, an original Christmas song. There simply aren’t any original songs worth a darn. NONE! You can argue with me on this point for the rest of time, just know that I am right. Think about it, if someone gave you their heart last Christmas and the very next day you gave it away, you wouldn’t care to whom he gave it to this year!
And why are you letting him waste your time singing this to you anyway?
But despite my logical and indisputable opinion on the matter, Christmas music continues to be played repeatedly on stations for weeks and weeks on end. I guess people must like it or they wouldn’t do it. I think it’s a conspiracy to convince people that despite the cold, snow, ice, low humidity, lack of sunshine, limited daylight, and hyperactive children losing their minds over Santa, it really is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Because for some people, it isn’t.
Many people love this time of year, but some people don’t, and with good reason. The holiday season can be difficult for people who are separated from loved ones, estranged from their families, or forced to spend time socially with people they don’t like or who don’t like them. Some people must spend their holiday dealing with illness or disease. Some people are preparing for the first (or next) holiday without a beloved family member. So while some people love the season and other (like me) love to poke fun at it, many people struggle with the festivities and long for January to come and return life (and the radio stations) back to normal.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the schedule and traditions we place onto Christmas. But in love for those of us who dread the holiday with the most understandable of reasons, allow me to quote the angels message to the shepherds:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Christ has come into a world filled with pain, suffering, and the very worst consequences of sin. Why did He do this? Here’s how it was explained to Joseph in Matthew 1:20-21:
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Pray for those people who are struggling this year as Christmas draws near. Remember that the pain that we feel, the hurt and disappointment that comes from life, and the anxiety and despair that feels like it could consume us are swept away by the love and peace that can only come from the Savior of the world coming into His creation to save it. Jesus began this work in the manger and completed it in Easter’s empty tomb. Seek His comfort. Know His peace. Feel the joy that can only come from heaven above as we join in the chorus!
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”