Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely LOVE Christmas. Sometimes, I forget that everyone else doesn’t feel the same way. I was reminded of this fact when talking to some of my older friends that said they HATED Christmas with a passion. I asked them why, and their sincere response was, “Why do you love it so much? Because you get presents?” They described it as a horrific time that allowed kids to simply be greedy and for parents and grandparents to spend a bunch of money. It made me so sad to hear this because those of us who know Jesus know that Christmas is a time of complete JOY.
This last week, on more than one occasion, I had conversations with people about why there is so much bad in the world. I think that is also part of the reason people hate Christmas. How can we take time to celebrate a God who allows so much bad to happen? For people who don’t have much family, or have lost loved ones, this time of year becomes even harder. I want to be sensitive to their feelings and understand their hurt. I also want to show them that there is a reason to be joyful, even when life is extremely hard…
JESUS!!! I LOVE that I get to tell people about the true meaning of Christmas. I am amazed every time I think about Jesus….
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8
WOW! Jesus came to dwell among us. On the cross, he took my sin on himself and took the punishment for me. I can’t DO anything to have a relationship with God because my sinful self can never, ever measure up to his perfection. I just have to trust that the cross took care of it all for me.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
So, I just wanted to take a moment today to quite simply remember the amazing JOY that Jesus gives. I am not at all denying the extreme bad that happens in the world. We are all allowed to feel sad, mad, and many other feelings, and to bring them before God. However, we can feel this JOY always, in the midst of our sadness and frustration. We can have extreme joy in knowing that one day, God is truly going to make everything okay. Here is an encouragement that Jesus speaks to believers:
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. Luke 6:22-23
The hurt and pain and suffering we experience on Earth is nothing compared to an eternity in the presence of God. I have incredible joy because:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4
How awesome it is to say that I don’t love Christmas because of temporary things like presents. I love Christmas because of the amazing JOY I have in Jesus coming to make a way for me to have a relationship with God forever! This is a joy that never, ever runs out, and it can be alive in our hearts all year round.