Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Bah Humbug!

Sometimes I feel like Scrooge – old, alone, and unloved – only without the money! (Heck, if I had the money, I wouldn’t be feeling like this, because I could be doing whatever I wanted for Christmas, including going to see my children and grandchildren!)

But maybe I’d still feel this way. After all, I still don’t have anyone to buy me a Christmas present.


It’s really hard to be alone in the winter. The nights get so long, and there’s no point going to bed, because then you’ll wake up in the dark and the COLD!!! TV is such a waste of time that mine isn’t even set up. The light isn’t good enough to sew or crochet (leastways that’s what my old eyes tell me), and I don’t buy better bulbs because of the increased electric bill they’d cause. So I read. But even reading can get boring when dark starts at 5 PM.

With no one to talk to, or play Scrabble with, or even fight and make up with, I can understand how Scrooge gradually began to turn away from everyone. Oh, sure, Mr. Dickens makes it clear that old Ebenezer made his choices because he loved money. And I can’t claim that motive (like I said, I’d be visiting family right now, if I had money). But alone is alone. And after a while, it begins to do things to you.

After a while, you begin to feel that no one loves you, has ever loved you.

After a while, you feel that there is something wrong with you, that makes you unlovable.

After a while, you realize you better find a reason to live, or you’ll die of the loneliness.

Scrooge found his reason in the clink of gold coins.

Others find it in drugs or alcohol. Or in something more innocuous, like a TV show, or a computer game, or a pet (or sixteen. There’s a reason why that old lady has so many cats), or food, or …

But you know, no matter what we try to use to fill the loneliness, to give us a reason for living, nothing works as well as being loved. We need to be loved by God, but we also need to be loved by at least one other human. He didn’t create us to be alone, even to be alone with Him. We need other humans. Of course, being loved by another human is not enough by itself, either. We need to be loved by God, too. We need both.

Knowing that I am loved by God keeps me from sliding into depression, when winter closes in on me. But around the holidays, it’s a bit harder. And for those who don’t know Him … well, they say that Christmas time has one of the highest suicide rates of the year.


So the next time you see that person who lives alone, or that single mom or dad, invite them over for an evening, give them a Christmas card, or maybe even a gift!

After all, everyone deserves a Christmas present – God thought so, He gave us the very first one.


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Christmas Once Again

It’s Christmas time again!
Hurry to buy, rush to wrap.
Did the cards get mailed?
And that package to Sue?
…  And what on earth should we buy for Ted?!?!

Find the perfect dress for that big event!
And the kids need dress shoes … again!
Did we invite Grandma to see them perform?
…  And where’s the camera anyway?

Where’d we stash the lights?
The angel got broke!!
Do we buy a tree or cut one?!?
…  Can we just do something fake this year?

It’s Christmas … again,
And as I rush here and there,
I forget why it’s here,
Why we do this each year.
…  I’m too busy to stop and enjoy.

Then I hear a song, just a note or two.
But the memory of words fills my mind.
And suddenly, I’m on a hillside somewhere
With sheep all around and a star-filled sky,
…  As an angel’s song fills the air!

Come all ye faithful!
Gloria in excelsis deo!
What child is this?
Sleep in heavenly peace.

And peace fills my heart
as the ancient words ring out.
And I suddenly remember
…  Just why we do this each year!

It’s Christmas once again.
Another chance to remember the birth that changed the world!
The gift that proves God’s love for me!
…  And you! And all!

Oh, let heaven and nature sing!
Rejoice! Emmanuel is come!
To save us all from Satan’s power!
Glory to God in the highest!
…  It’s Christmas once again!

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O Come, Immanuel!

We’re probably all familiar with the word ‘Immanuel’. After all, we sing it every Christmas. And most people know its meaning. (‘Immanuel’, used only in Isaiah 7:14, then quoted in Matthew 1:23, means ‘God with us’ or ‘with us is God’, according to online Strong’s.)

But did you ever stop to think about that meaning?

* * *

I mean really think about it? The obvious meaning, of course, is the one we apply every year near the end of December – the Son of God, born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. God with us in a human form. Jesus – fully man and fully God – living a sinless life, dying to pay for the sins of the world, being resurrected to give us life.

But I think it might go deeper than that. So many of God’s truths are multifaceted (and fractal), and maybe this one is, too.

* * *

God with us – this is the essence of what Jesus taught in John 14 – 17:  “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (14:16).   “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit (15:5). “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (17:23).

God with us now. Today. Holy Spirit living inside each of His children.

God in my human form, and yours.

* * *

Before anyone starts screaming “heresy!”, let me clarify: I am not saying I am God or that you are, either.

I am saying God is in me, in you – living inside this human body, right alongside my own heart and soul and spirit. (God in your body, along with your heart, mind and spirit, if you are His child.)

* * *

This is what Jesus came to accomplish – the union of God and man. Not just once – 2000 years ago – but every single day, of every year and century since then. Not just one man – long ago in Galilee – but every man and woman who accepts Him, wherever and whenever.

This is the truth we need to understand and believe – God with ME!!

This is where the power lies to live the life we were created for; where the truth is that sets us free of every bondage; how we do greater works than Jesus.

All that you and I were born to be and do can only happen when He is in us.

* * *

So this year, as you sing those Christmas carols celebrating that miraculous birth so long ago, allow Father God to make it real to you that He is with you.

Rejoice in the truth that you no longer need to ‘mourn in lowly exile’, because the Son of God has appeared! He has ransomed you, set you free, and is living in you!

Open yourself up to Him, allowing Holy Spirit to be with you so completely that you become one with Him. (Yeah, that’s usually a process, but don’t let that stop you from heading in that direction.)

* * *

May ‘Immanuel’ truly be so in your life this holiday season, and increasingly so throughout the coming year.

John 17:20 – 23

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Merry Christmas!

’tis that time of year again!

Time to remember all those people you never talk to except through exchanged cards.

Time to eat way too much food, especially Christmas cookies!

Time to stress your brain and your wallet, figuring out just what gifts to get for everyone on your list.

Time for children’s plays at church or school, caroling, parties, and other fun.

Time for exhaustion, family fights, and disappointments galore.

And time to remember why we have hope!

* * *

Hope! Yes, that’s the real reason for the Christmas celebration.

Christ was probably born in October, not December, but the church created this holiday, at this time of year, to cover up several pagan ritual days.

We can argue about which of our customs are truly ‘Christian’, and we can feud about whether to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’.

We can ignore the whole thing, cursing it as too commercial, or pagan, or whatever.

We can wear ourselves out with  shopping and wrapping and mailing. And baking and cooking and eating.

But the real reason behind all the hype and drama and excess is – hope!

* * *

What is there, in this fallen sinful world, to hope in, other than Christ?

He is the sacrifice for our sins, the healing of our minds and bodies, the truth that sets us free, the spiritual ‘bread’ we need to survive.

He is the way, not only to God and heaven, but also through this often dreary life.

Indeed, He is Life.

* * *

Whether this is really His birthday or not;

whether you refuse to have a tree or decorate your house so thoroughly that no one can find the couch;

whether you exchange cards and gifts, or act like the Grinch;

this is the time we have set aside to remember why we have hope!

So take the time to do just that, remember the reason behind the season – the birth of the One who saves and heals and sets us free.

Take time to renew your hope. That’s what Christmas is all about.

* * *

May you make time during this joyous season to draw close to our Father God, allow Him to wrap His love around you like a warm blanket, and receive anew the gifts of hope, joy and peace He gives to everyone who receives.

“ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14

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