We hung the lights, but they wouldn’t twinkle.
We wrapped gifts without any joy.
The freshly cut tree lost its pine scent.
Carols droned on in a dull aching tone.
The snow was neither crisp nor fluffy.
The bells had no jingle. The horses no spark in their steps.
Star and bell shaped cookies burnt and tasteless.
The Christmas that never came.
The snow is gently falling out the window. The light from the fireplace casts a soft glow upon your loved ones. As they gaze upon the stacks of presents under tree, they giggle with joy and anticipation.
But you? Christmas is here but somehow the spirit of Christmas eludes you. This warm fuzzy feeling of being surrounded by good food, family and friends should be there for you…but it’s not. The guilt you feel is almost unbearable. What’s wrong with me? Why this year? Where is the joy that is supposed to come along with Christmas?
What if Christmas doesn’t happen for you this year?
Maybe you’re battling an illness, or fighting to keep your family together. Maybe you’ve lost a job, or lost something greater.
Maybe there are practical reasons, like finances are tight, or time is tight. Maybe it’s something deeper in your heart that’s making Christmas not happen for you this year.
Some Christmases are filled with beauty and light and abundance, and others can be still, quiet, even empty. And that’s okay.
Of all the Christmases over the past two-thousand years, the Christmas that matters the most is the first one.
Love came down that Christmas. God sent His Son to save the world that Christmas. To save you. Enough grace and love and abundance came down that day to fill every Christmas since. The grace that came down that day is enough to cover you, enough to fill your dark places.
If this is you, what I want you to do this Christmas, is to go to church anyway. Go to church and sit in the back. And listen. Listen to Joy to the World. Listen to O Holy Night. Silent Night. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel. Emmanuel means ‘God with us’. God with you. God with me.
Let God’s love surround you; let His grace cover you. Let His arms hold you, on Christmas night.