I love Christmas songs! They remind me of the reason for this season. So many songs at this time of year are about Joy, Peace, Hope, Love, Stillness and Silence. Do you feel these things? Do you see them in people’s faces as we all rush through the malls and drive madly down the streets? Do you feel the overwhelm, the stress, the knots in your neck, or your stomach? Why do we allow this to happen to ourselves?
We have forgotten the reason for the season; the birth of Jesus!
The word Christmas is actually two words; Christ (the Saviour of the world) and Mass (meaning festival) This is what Christ-mas is about – celebrating the birth of Christ. We somehow get caught up in the furor of the presents, the food and the decorating; all of which are not bad. I love these things too, but when they overtake the true meaning of Christmas, it’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed.
If we truly remember the reason for the season, and be grateful for the Peace, Joy, Hope, Love, Comfort and Stillness that Jesus brings we can alleviate a lot of the stress that we all tend to feel at this time of year. We often forget in the hustle and bustle that it is a time to spend with those we love; family and friends. It is a time to create our own “mas”, a festival of love and joy
Can’t you just picture it, the young parents of a baby, born in a manger on a December night? Picture the joy that his parents must have felt, when he was born. Picture and try to feel the silence of the night (safe for the cows mooing and donkeys braying). Picture the quiet and stillness as they all drifted off to sleep once Jesus was wrapped up and fed. What an amazing picture and vision to remind ourselves that we too can feel these things, if we just slow down and take the time to appreciate what all the songs are about!
The good news is that we have the ability to bring these feelings and visions into 2018. We can do this by being aware of our needs, and what we truly want in our lives. What are your values and what truly makes you joyful? For me, Christmas is a time for reflection of the past year and an opportunity to envision what I want in my life for 2018. Of course in my case, I believe that God has a plan for my life and I usually just need to get out of my own way and allow God to work. This means being joyful in all that I do, and being grateful for the times that God brings hope, and peace into my life. However these are very counter-cultural feelings and not easy to find in today’s society!
I will be taking some time during these final weeks of 2017 for reflection and I urge you to take some time to reflect on the past year and what you want for your life in 2018. Also, enjoy the music of the season and try to remember the tiny baby who came over 2000 years ago. He came to offer, love, joy, and peace, not only for this season but for all time.