The best gift ever!
Are you excited for Christmas? Or do you secretly wish that it were all over already? For many people, Christmas is filled with dread instead of delight. Author Jon Walker writes this: ‘There’s a darker side to Christmas we rarely acknowledge. We create this fantasy that seldom matches reality, even in the best of homes…many Christmas memories are full of tension, not tinsel…yet another reminder that the one we love is far away or perhaps never coming back…more people hurt at Christmas than we initially imagine.’ We may dread strained family gatherings, parties where we have to put on a happy face in spite of how we’re feeling, or reminders of painful past Christmases. Even if we enjoy this time of year, we might find the preparations stressful. Relatively trivial things like wondering if we’ve chosen the right present for someone or mentally calculating if we have enough wrapping paper can take tiny bites out of the joy of Christmas. But whatever is stealing our joy, let’s reclaim it back. Jon Walker continues with these words of encouragement: ‘For those tired of the hollow hope…of Christmas, the good news is, God is with us. Jesus came to earth to “bring…good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Regardless of your situation, Christmas is the best gift you’ll ever get, because: 1) it’s the costliest you’ll ever receive because it cost Jesus His life; 2) it’s the only gift that lasts forever; 3) it’s one you can enjoy for the rest of your life.’ We can get so weighed down by all the things we’ve made Christmas about – the food, the parties, the decorations, and so on – that we sometimes lose sight of what it’s really about. This year, let’s try to focus on the true meaning – the gift of Jesus.
How do you feel about Christmas? If you dread it and find it too stressful, share your feelings with God. Read about Jesus’ birth in the Bible, asking Him to help you rediscover your joy. And if you love Christmas, why not offer a sincere and gentle word of encouragement or some practical help to someone who’s struggling.
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