Wrestling With the Christmas Blues…
A Christmas message from the pastor….
Christmas time is a wonderful time isn’t it? The lights, the colors, and the time with family all add up to great feelings of warmth in our hearts, as we connect with the meaning of our God given lives . . . right? Aren’t you filled with the warm fuzzies that the season inspires for all?
Unfortunately, for many of us, we find ourselves channeling Gary Coleman from the TV show Different Strokes in our answer to these questions: “What you talking ‘bout?”
Sure, we want to experience the Light of the World and the Prince of Peace speaking to us in a special way, but the fact is that the pressures of the Christmas season create more stress in our lives, not less, and we end up doing more “bah humbugging” than “ho, ho, ho-ing.” For some of us, Christmas reminds us of lost loved ones who are no longer with us. For others, the pressures of trying to “keep up” financially in a culture that implies that our worth as givers is caught up in how much we buy overwhelms us in the face of higher bills and smaller paychecks. Others of us find ourselves running from event to event, stressing on the parties and happenings to the point that we fail to find much joy in them at all.
Yes, Christmas is a wonderful season; a season where we remember the Christ’s breaking forth into the world. Yet, at the same time, many of us find ourselves singing along with Elvis about our Blue Christmas, longing for so much more.
For all the wonder of Christmas, when we look in depth at the story of Christ’s birth, we find something that is far darker than the consumeristic stories of Christmas tell us. A baby born out of wedlock. A long journey from home to meet the demands of the emperor. A birth in a barn. And then, after all that, a family forced to become refugees in Egypt so that the child would not be killed. Sure there were angels and stars, but there were also smelly shepherds, blood and sweat, and most of all, fear at what was happening.
Yet, in the midst of it all, God was present — even when Mary and Joseph weren’t ready to see him. God was there in the form of a baby; a baby who would grow up to save the people from their sins. At that time, in that moment, all that was present were dreams and hopes, but God was still there just the same, assuring all that those dreams and hopes would come to fruition in the life and example of this baby who would grow up to be worshipped by all.
May we remember in the midst of our “Blue Christmases” in the hope and promise of the one who we worship today. That one came as a man of sorrows, a suffering servant who would eventually be killed so that all would know something of the love of God. And that one who we worship rose again, born anew with the power of God transforming our sorrows into laughter.
That is the true power of the “Child of the Light.”
And, may we experience that light in the midst of our darkness.
Merry Christmas to all of you,