Christmas can be the most beautiful season on earth or it can turn ugly fast. It can be a delightful time or it can get dangerously out of hand.
Expectations can quickly climb out of reason. Additional demands on our time and schedule can fuel frustration. Mounting money pressures test our tolerance.
Negotiating schedules with various sides of the family can erupt into conflict and hurt. Unresolved family tensions often surface during the holidays when families gather. Hurt, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness can turn the happiest holiday celebration into a painful memory.
The angels said; “Peace on earth good will to men,” but Christmas is commonly a time when men and women indulge in ill will, greed, theft, assault and even murder. Commonly people use the celebration of Jesus’ birth to indulge in vices of gluttony, drunkenness, and immorality, expressions of the very darkness he came to dispel.
The Prince of Demons lurks in the shadows to sabotage Christmas. He is a grand master at stirring up trouble to disturb the peace and tranquility of Christmas. I’ve seem him crash Jesus’ birthday party more than once.
I hate to see that happen to people that I love. After all He’s done for us, Jesus deserves better. Besides this, we need to remember that our children are always watching and learning. Their memories are especially keen at Christmas time. Their Christmas memories can become patterns they learn and carry with them into their own homes one day.
A Practical Suggestion
It is Christmas week. Can I make a suggestion that might help you have a delightful Christmas? Take a quiet walk or a drive just to be with the Lord some time this week. A winter evening walk can be a delightful pleasure. Walk slow. Take your time. Listen with your ears and your heart. Savor God’s creation around you. .
Before the family is up or after they are quiet in their beds, turn off all the lights except the lights on the tree and be silent with the Lord for a while. Maybe he will prompt your heart to worship him or confess wrong. Maybe he will flood your soul with thankful thoughts.
Mary, the mother of Jesus did this. When the shepherds told her of their angelic visitation she ” – treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.” I am suggesting that you follow Mary’s pattern. Treasure truths about Jesus and quietly ponder them in your heart.
Ask God to gift your heart and your home with love, joy, peace and patience. Ask him for increased kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – These are the fruits of character that are present wherever Jesus is present and he loves to grant these things to us when they show up in our prayers and on our Christmas list.
I wish you those you love a blessed Christmas. Slow down. Be silent. Keep it simple. Savor the moments. Listen to the children. Pray more. Cherish your Bible. Try to be understanding with people. Life is short and people are precious. Give in. Be kind. Have a heart. Show mercy. Learn to forgive. Make things right.
It Christmas after all. Be Christian.
December 18, 2006