The Emotion Of Christmas
The Christmas season has a way of bringing a flood of emotions.
We most often associate Christmas with joy, cheer, laughter, celebration and fun - Yet there is another side of Christmas emotion as well. Christmas also intensifies hurt, pain and loss. It may be sickness, it may be the physical passing of a loved one or just the uncertainties of life itself, but everybody goes through it at some point in their life. No matter the emotion, Christmas seems to intensify that hurt and that loss all over again.
Life is full of hurt, pain, sorrow, grief, despair –all these things and more that bring with it an aspect of fear and uncertainty. It is no surprise that the biblical account brings to light the component of fear in our lives. Luke’s account of the Christmas narrative says;
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified. Luke 2:9
“Terrified”, one translation uses the phrase, “terribly frightened”. Sounds like real life doesn’t it? The word used here is the same word from which we get our word phobia in the English language. Sometimes we are simply terrified, terribly frightened and fearful about the circumstances and situations that life brings. These emotions are real and should not simply be overlooked and neglected in our life, or the lives of those around us. But God provides a real answer that is filled with hope and Joy.
But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of
great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was
born for you in the city of David. Luke 2:10-11
Joy, probably the one thing that is most associated with Christmas. Joy is a beautiful word. The angels directly associate "joy" with the receiving of "good news" that a Savior has been born for you! We most associate joy with laughter, good times and happiness, but that's not biblical joy. Biblical joy is a steadfast hope - something that we hang onto in good times and in bad. We don't associate joy simply with what is happening in our lives right now, but rather what has happened through the person of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps this year is a first for you; having lost a loved one or dealt with tragic news. There are several dear friends and family that I am praying for specifically this year as they have their first Christmas without a loved one. Or, perhaps there are those around you that may be hurting; they may have emotional pain or sorrow, or perhaps they are experiencing their first Christmas absent of a loved one. Let me encourage you to be sensitive to them during this time of cheer and joy, and simply extend appropriate love and care to them.
Whether it is your first holiday without a loved one, or like me, it has been several years, the loss, hurt, pain and emotional sorrow are just as real as the joy and cheer. Sometimes this season intensifies that loss as you reminisce of Christmases past. Be sensitive to those around you and extended them the love and joy of the good news of Christmas.
I have always loved the somewhat obscure, and often missed, phrase that Luke shares;
But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19
Take some time over this Christmas season to treasure and ponder the special people, memories and situations of your life. Surrender them to Jesus Christ and ask Him to fill you with good news of great joy.
Lastly, let me encourage you to be sensitive to those around you that need your care and encouragement. There are many that need to know the joy and hope that is found in Jesus and may be especially receptive during this time of year. Let the glorious message of the angels be yours this holiday season and be willing to proclaim to those around you the "good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you.”