Most of us associate the Christmas Season with happiness, joy, warmth, nostalgia… family, friends, loved ones…
But for many, this is a very difficult and depressing time. In some cases, people are unable to keep up with the expectations and festivities of the season because of financial hardship, disappointing children and suffering a general sense of dread and self-loathing as a result. For others, the loss of loved ones over the past year is felt much more acutely during this time. Others may be far from home and family due to military service or job transfers, and find themselves feeling lonely and down. Of course there are many other possible scenarios that can make this wonderful time of the year feel more like a nightmare for many.
I wish there was a way that I could make everything better for everyone, but alas! there isn’t a way to do that; there just isn’t an “easy button” for this kind of problem.
There are some little things that we may be able to do, however. Most of us have a circle of friends, associates and family, and when we hear of people within these groups who may be alone or in need at this time, we can certainly take steps to show our love for those who are afflicted. We can have them for Christmas dinner, send them a gift, pray for them and let them know that we care. We can also go out of our way to find out about such people so that we can love them. Of course, this is all very easy to say. And even if we reach out, Christmas is one day out of 365; people in this kind of need are in need of a caring friend all year-long.
Do we dare to take on a friend who is in some sort of need?
Would Jesus dare…? Some might disagree with me, but I think He would; in fact I think that if we reached out, Jesus would consider reaching out to Him!
When you really think about it, this is a wonderful time of year to be a servant of Jesus Christ! Opportunities abound to demonstrate His love for all people, quietly and without fanfare or self praise… just because it’s what Jesus would have us to do.
Is there enough time in our busy holiday schedules to let others see the love of the Christ-child in our faces and actions?
I know, reaching out to people in need can be messy, it can be a little uncomfortable and maybe we’ll get our hands or ears a little dirty, but can you really think of a more suitable way to celebrate the arrival of God’s great gift of hope for all mankind?