In just a few weeks, someone or other will ask us: “how was your Christmas?”
Chances are our answers won’t include words like “perfect” or “flawless.”
It’s just a fact that Christmas celebrations tend to carry with them mistakes and messes. Something unexpected happens. Some gifts don’t arrive on time. Someone isn’t satisfied.
The first Christmas was not void of frustration, either:
- Joseph almost divorced Mary over her pregnancy with God’s son (Matt 1:19)
- The couple had to travel- sans cars- about 80 miles just before she was due (Lk 2:4-5)
- She had to give birth to the Messiah in a stable (Lk 2:6)
- The young family had to flee to Egypt because a king was out to kill baby Jesus! (Matt 2:13)
Most people involved in any way with Jesus’ birth needed to hear the calming words “do not be afraid!”
God through his angels spokes those words. Then, when Jesus was grown, He did too. Over and over again.
At Christmas time, it doesn’t seem like “do not be afraid” are words as important as “be merry” or “wishing you peace.” But our tendency toward frustration reveals otherwise.
Our lives seem to sing:
Because our emotions tend to be peaked with anticipation, nostalgia, and a break in routine during this season, we feel there is a lot at stake. We have higher expectations than we tend to at other times of the year. Our priorities often stagger under the weight of assumed responsibility for others’ joy.Afraid of failing Christmas, we often magnify our frustration the way Mary magnified the Lord. Click To Tweet
Meanwhile, we have much better things to magnify. God’s Word then is just as true now. Jesus coming is the best news.
HE brings great JOY- and joy for ALL.
There’s a reason David praised God right after his son died. There’s a reason Paul, who knew the secret to contentment, sang in prison. There’s a reason Jesus “for the joy set before Him” went to the cross.
No matter how many of our fears are realized and how many unexpected twists there are, God provides. And His gifts are good.
Jesus’ joy is in us- and His joy is complete.
As our plans get messed up, our orders are delayed, our traditions are changed, our travels get wearisome, our goals for celebration seem dashed, our loved ones cheer sours with unmet expectation…
We can rejoice because we have nothing to fear, and God can make good for His glory out of our frustrations.
This celebration season, I’m seeking contentment in Christ. Will you join me for the rest of this 5 part series?
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