Christmas A Time of Joy?
by, Dec 18th 2010 at 11:15 PM (540 Views)
Christmas is almost here. People are bustling around trying to find that perfect gift. Choirs are working hard to prepare and preform their special music. Children work on memorizing lines for their special programs that will be watched eagerly by family and friends, even though they have heard it all hundreds of times before. Radios play joyous Christmas music and congregations sing songs such as “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.”
But if you look beneath the surface you will find that not all is “calm and bright.” If you look at the faces of the people you will find that many where the smile seems pasted on, and not genuine. And often there is a darkness underneath the glitter of the season. And this darkness isn’t always touching that group of people that we euphemistically refer to as “them.” If you look you will find people that are touched by this darkness even among your friends. My friend Graceblest and her husband had to travel to be with his family just recently as his mother died. And I, myself, found myself in need of a shoulder to cry on. A coworker received some roses and it reminded me of all the times I bought a rose for my wife and I was reminded that I don’t have anyone to buy flowers for anymore. The tears still start as I think about this. And the statisticians tell us that the rate of suicides rises dramatically at this time of year. No, this isn’t a time of Joy for everyone.
But stop and think for a moment. This wasn’t a particularly joyful time for Mary and Joseph either. They lived in a land dominated by the Romans. Mary was pregnant but it was likely known by all that Joseph was not the father. On top of this they had to make a long trip to Bethlehem to register for a new tax. This when Mary was almost ready to deliver. And when they get there they can find no place to stay. No, we live in a fallen world and even in the brightest and most joyful times there is darkness.
So as you go about your preparations and celebrations remember in the people around you there may be people that are suffering. And that suffering may be felt even more in this time because of all the celebrating that is going on all around. Try and reach out to those that are suffering and sorrowful and do what you can to ease their burden. Remember, the Christ child was welcomed by a star. But the beauty of the stars is only seen because they shine against the darkness. Be one of the stars this Christmas and shine into someone’s darkness and do what you can to make it bright.