There’s a Christmas song made famous by Andy Williams called, “The most wonderful time of the year.” But we could take out the word “WONDERFUL” and fill it with any number of adjectives.
- Most hectic or busy
- Most insane and crazy
- Most expensive time of the year…..about this time every year I feel like I’m bleeding money.
- For some it’s the most depressing time of the year…for any number of reasons.
- The list can go on an on.
And the thing about the Christmas holiday season is that your regular “stuff” doesn’t quit just because it’s Christmas. You already have a busy schedule with work, house work, errands, etc. Now stir in additional family gatherings, extra expenses, Christmas parties, decorating, church functions and shopping on top of your regular “stuff” and it can be one of the most stressful times of the year.
At our house right now we’re singing “Tis the Season to be…….SICK”. In fact, we’ve been caught in an episode of “As the Washing Machine Turns” with the stomach flu making its way through the house. Not to be gross or anything, but dealing with a 12-year-old with Autism who can’t tell you’re they are going to be sick will win you a spot on the tv show, “Worlds Dirtiest Jobs”. When your friends show up with these Christmas gifts you know you’re in trouble.
I think the trouble with the Christmas season isn’t Christmas at all. It’s our expectations of what Christmas should be. We want everyone to have the perfect Christmas. We want the season to be merry and bright and so we expect it to be flawless. EVERYTHING. To. Be. Perfect….
But why? Think back to the very first Christmas. How perfect was it? Jesus was born amidst a scandal. A 9 months pregnant woman (probably a teenager) was on the road traveling at her due date. No room in the inn. The Son of God laid in a manger. The first visitors where poor shepherds. Mary and Joseph, the chosen parents of the God-man, were poor. Herod tried to kill Jesus when he learned of His birth and innocent children died because of his evil pride. Families mourned the great loss.
What was perfect about the first Christmas? Nothing….
He was and is and always will be the only perfection in our lives. We need to stop placing unrealistic expectations on a “season” wanting it to be perfect and pretending like it is even when it’s not. We need to embrace the truth of Christmas which is found in Matthew 1:23 –
She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Immanuel – God is with us.
With us through the stomach flu.
With us through flat tires and broken refrigerators.
With us through loss of loved ones and grief.
With us through Alzheimer’s and failing health.
With us through financial hardship and the loss of jobs.
With us through Autism.
With us as we parent as we serve others and at work.
With us, holding us close as our hearts break, as marriages end, friendships fail and family makes devastating choices.
With us through it all
God is with us. All the time. Every second of every day through out all the year. Not a moment is He away from us. Not even for a moment. And there’s no news more wonderful than that.