This is normally the time of the year when people are busily putting out their holiday decorations, adorning their newly purchased evergreens with tiny lights, strands of garland and shiny ornaments, and braving the department stores and shopping malls for that perfect little something that they will place beneath the tree to be opened only on Christmas morning. It’s normally a season of giving and good cheer, of festive dinner parties and the angelic sounds of carolers traveling from door to door to share a song or two of hope and joy with their neighbors.
This is Christmas time! Yet, there seems to be a lull beneath the surface of what should be the most glorious time of the year.
The last two years have been a struggle for many of the people in the world. Many have lost their jobs, their homes, and some their entire savings. For others; those who had very little to loose to begin with, it has been even harder to make ends meet as they have been faced with new challenges and obstacles that had never existed before. Perhaps you, like so many others, have reached a point where it seems that there is just very little reason to celebrate the Christmas season. You want to be of good cheer and celebrate, and even find yourself going through the motions; like some kind of robotic elf…
Tree, check…Christmas cards…check…lights on rooftop…check, check, check.
Still, you just don’t feel it in your heart the way you wish you could. You may not even be able to pinpoint the reason for your melancholy mood; there could be many reasons for why you are feeling down. All one need do is turn on the evening news and choose a poison, but you should not allow the state of the economy, or our healthcare system, or even the sad shape of your own personal finances steal away your joyous spirit. Christmas is a special time of the year, but it isn’t the beautifully lighted trees, or the carefully wrapped packages beneath those trees, or the festive dinner parties or even the carolers that make it so special. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of those things too. However, what truly makes Christmas so special is the gift that was given one starry night in a far away place so many, many years ago…a savior.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Heralded by the angels, Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Son of God, to seek and to save mankind from their sins (Luke 19:10), and offer them the gift of eternal salvation. It is his birth that we celebrate each year. It is his love for us, and our love for others that should warm our hearts and melt away our gloominess and despair. If we have accepted Christ into our hearts, we have received the greatest gift of all!
Jesus is the reason for celebration! Yet, even Christians can find themselves discouraged at times, distracted by events taking place in the world or in their lives, or disheartened by the commercialism of the Christmas season, all of which seems to try and steal away whatever hope or joy we may have left. So, what should we do then? Isaiah tells us that we should focus our hearts and minds on the Lord instead:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
We cannot avoid the problems and struggles that continually seem to transpire in the world around us, but we can manage some control over how it makes us feel. When we fix our thoughts on God, we can know perfect peace even amid the confusion and chaos that surrounds us. By focusing our minds on God and his Word, we become more steady and stable. If you want peace, keep your thoughts on God and your trust in him during Christmas and throughout the year. Remember what Christmas is all about…a time to celebrate Jesus!