Well, the Christmas tree and all of the other decorations are up, most of the presents have been purchased (if not wrapped), and the concerts and celebrations are underway.
Christmas will soon be here.
I have said more than once in this column that I am just a big, grown-up kid when it comes to Christmas.
I love the sights and sounds, I love the food, and I love the gifts ( oth the ones I give and the ones I receive). My radio is set on a station that plays all Christmas carols until the big day.
I will say it again. I love Christmas.
But - and this is a big one - this year’s celebration has been a bit tainted. You see, in the last week I have preached at two funerals. In addition, since Halloween Day I have been to Atlanta four times taking my dad to the doctor. The diagnosis was frightening, but the prognosis looks good. Still, it’s been a scary time.
Here’s my point: The holidays are a time for celebration. But for those who are in the midst of trials they can be a time for depression.
The first holiday season following the death of a loved one is often terribly hard to bear. In fact, seeing others filled with joy can lead to even more stress and pain.
So what should we do about it? I say that we should still celebrate. After all, Christmas is not about family. It’s not about children. It’s not even about church.
Christmas is about Jesus, and he knows about every trial that you face. Jesus is truly the reason for the season, and we can celebrate him even in the midst of trouble. In fact, that is when we need him most.
Second, keep your eyes open. Pay attention to those around you who are not yet in the Christmas mood. Love them. Serve them. Pray for them.
God has called each of us to serve in his name. You can make a difference. You best serve the Lord as you love and serve others.