Have you ever noticed the holiday season has a way of polarizing people? I am not talking about the divide between those who want to say, “Happy Holidays” and those who prefer to say, “Merry Christmas.” Though that is a clear dividing line in our culture, I am talking about a different polarization that happens in the November/December season each year.
For some the Christmas season might as well be a 30-45 day music video for the classic song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The other 10-11 months of the year are simply a build up to a great season of faith & family.
For others this “hap-happiest season of all” isn’t such a happy time. In fact there are likely people in your life right now who are struggling to just make it through this season.
I have come to love the Christmas season, but that is a relatively new development in my life. I spent many years navigating sadness and depression around the holidays. Nothing makes a person feel more like an outsider than navigating sadness while everyone around you is happy.
Unfortunately many of you have probably navigated those feelings during some holiday season. Perhaps you have been through a Christmas season while dealing with financial uncertainty, a health crisis, family drama or even the loss of a loved one. The weight of rejecting Christmas cheer can be crushing to carry.
No matter the current state of your soul, it is a good moment to remember that the Christmas season is about hope. It is the story of God ending what many experienced as centuries of divine silence. The Christmas story reminds us that hope is not just on our wish list, it is already under the tree. (Click to tweet) Hope is not on back order on Amazon Prime…you have to check your delivery notifications because it has already arrived.
But we humans need help remembering that hope has come. That is why the Christmas season is so important each year.
If you find yourself wishing this season would just speed by, remember that the Christmas story is a reminder to us that even when we feel knocked down, marginalized or alone – we are not forgotten. Hope is not a far off concept, but it is a real experience embodied by a real person. (Click to tweet)
And for those of you who find yourself overflowing with Christmas cheer – allow God to use you to be a tangible expression of hope today. (Click to tweet) Remember that not everyone is experiencing this season as joyous. Extend an invite to join you at a Christmas Eve service. Welcome someone into your home for Christmas day so they are not alone. Reach out to those who are struggling and become a tangible expression of God’s love coming near to the broken hearted this Christmas season.