Are you sure? Really?
In a time when we are all caught up in the hullaballoo of the culmination of the season, it is easy to forget what we are celebrating. But it is also easy to forget in our celebrations those who are unable to celebrate.
When we force our festivities on those around us without looking to see what is going on in their lives, we place those in our community in a place of additional discomfort. Though this may be the most wonderful time of the year because we are celebrating Christ’s birth, it is not wonderful for everyone. For many of us, even those of us who are able to have a comfortable place to live, and enough to have elaborately set tables and extravagant gifts for friends and family, we still may be caught up in dilemmas and problems beyond our control.
Forcing those in the community to celebrate without recognizing the brokenness in the lives of the individuals makes us less of a community and more of a general grouping of individuals with needs and desires going in all different directions. When we assume that everyone is going to have a good time, we make them take on a façade of happiness which tears them down even more.
As a true community we are called to celebrate with those around us, and mourn with those who mourn. This is not a call to always be weepy around everyone, or manic at every festivity, but to be reasonable about the realities in which we live.
Think of those who are experiencing their first Christmas after losing a loved one or a broken relationship. They cannot have the full celebration if they are not allowed to grieve. I imagine if I lost a loved one during my favorite time of the year I would be torn between missing them, being aggravated that my season was messed up, and annoyed at myself for thinking that way.
Instead of assuming that this is the most wonderful time of the year, we can wait, look, and see into the depth of each person’s life, and see the amazing work that God is in the process of working, in times of pain, and in times of joy.
I pray that this is a time of joy for you, in the midst of the craziness.