The holidays can be hard on those dealing with grief. We all get that Christmas is that special time to gather with our families and friends. When someone is missing, the gap is huge and it brings about a sadness that can’t really be explained. This sadness may be underlying, but it still seems to be there, doesn’t it?
Again this year, our family will celebrate Christ’s birth with yet another family member missing. Our already little family seems to get smaller and smaller.
My daddy was a part of every Christmas for the past 63 years, so the hole he left is obvious. It affects every plan I try to make. Am I crying and depressed and struggling with my emotions? NO, I’m not!!! I really am okay. But that doesn’t keep his absence from being real.
Daddy always had a sadness about him during the holidays. We never really knew why, but we teased him about it and called him Grinch or Scrooge. I often wondered if it was more about his childhood memories. His dad, at 39 years old, died when Daddy was only 9. He left behind a wife and 7 children ranging from 18 years old to 6 months old. They had little, so Christmas was slim. Did Daddy’s mind go back to his childhood Christmases without his dad? He never really talked about him, but I know every little boy needs their daddy. If Daddy were here right now, I would ask him again why the holidays brought such sadness to him.
Christmas can be a let down, can’t it? We shop and spend money we shouldn’t. We cook and clean and over-eat. We go from party to party until we’re tuckered out. Then Christmas Day arrives and it’s all over in a matter of minutes. All we’re left with is a messy house and charge account bills that will arrive in January!
Maybe that’s because our focus is on the wrong thing. Is it wrong to give gifts? Absolutely not! Is it wrong to decorate and entertain? I certainly don’t think so! But it is wrong to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, many of which will be tucked away in a closet or drawer and forgotten by the end of the week. It is wrong to turn Christmas into a celebration that forgets to invite the very One for whom the day is named. The world has pulled our focus away from Christ and onto things. (That is the enemy’s plan!) Santa has replaced Jesus. We use an Elf to keep our children on the straight and narrow. Our Christmas movies (which I love, by the way!!!) can easily sway a person’s understanding of the true meaning of Christmas if we don’t have a strong understanding of the Word. Even many Christmas songs give Santa more clout than Jesus.
These things are what should cause us to be sad.
Jesus Christ, the 2nd person of the Godhead, willingly gave up the glory of heaven to become one of us so He might die in our place, taking on our sin debt and giving us His righteousness. This wasn’t a little thing!! This was the most important thing that has ever happened. God became flesh and dwelt among us.
That, folks, is what Christmas is about.
Where is your focus? Have you invited Jesus into your life? Is He your life? He wants to be. I know from experience that life with Jesus Christ is full of joy and peace and hope even in the darkest of days. And I know that my daddy will have the best Christmas ever this year!!! That sadness he always felt will NOT be a part. Because he had given his life to Christ, he is with Him now, seeing Him face to face. That is what he would want for you, too.
So, have yourself a Merry Little Christmas as you celebrate with your family this year. And make sure you leave plenty of room at the table for the Guest of Honor.
Lots of love, Sharon