“Joy to the world! The Lord is come: let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing.”
I gotta be honest, when I look around during this Holiday Season, I don’t see much joy. I see people going from party to party to event to event trying to keep up. I see people stressed over finding that perfect present for everyone on their list and wondering how to pay for it. I see people impatiently waiting in line at the stores. I see angry drivers in a hurry to get to the next place. I see spoiled individuals wanting more of the latest and greatest whatever. I see advertisers and retailers taking advantage of the season to get people to spend more money.
I’m not a Scrooge, I actually have Christmas music playing as I write this. I rather enjoy the Christmas season. I enjoy the time with family, the heightened spiritual awareness of people, the open doors to talk about Jesus. I even enjoy the decorations and the music (I just don’t want it before Thanksgiving 😉 ).
A whole lot of people will lament with me the over-commercialization of Christmas. Much time will be spent writing and reading about the loss of the true meaning of Christmas. Many will long for a simpler time when the thought is really what mattered and not the gift.
I don’t think the meaning of Christmas is lost. I don’t believe that most people are intentionally rude or joyless. It just happens. The pressure of family, friends, job, society, just kind of drowns out the joy. Too many people wait until Christmas Day itself to slow down long enough to think about it. We can’t change everyone. We are going to turn the tide with a few blog posts or conversations. However, if each one of us individually would slow down and let go of the pressure, the tide would eventually change. Until then, those who do slow down, those who keep perspective, those who let the joy of God shine through them will have a much more meaningful Christmas season and just might brighten a few around them, even if just for a moment.
As followers of God, let’s be a little more intentional about sharing His joy with those around us. After all, what greater gift can we give than the reality and joy of the living Savior?!