During the Christmas season there is something about the tension of amazing love and peace that rubs up against the realities of life as it continues to happen. I am afraid that Christmas has gone the way of Hollywood. A false sense of happiness and security exudes from every blaring commercial. We hear this as reality and compare the message to our own lives and we get disappointed and discouraged.
I look back on the past few days and feel so much pain for personal stories that came my way. A 72 year old woman weeping over the reality that her mom never really got her. Never loved her unconditionally. A 28 year old woman weeping over the reality that her Father’s love was non-existent and painful. A 40 year old woman struggling with the lost dreams of marriage and stability.
Then there is my niece, a single Mom of two children, whose car was stolen, along with Christmas presents hidden inside and car seats and coats. And our son, a flight paramedic, who was the one who pronounced a young Mommy and her five-year-old daughter dead at the scene of a horrible freeway accident.
How do we make sense of it all? The Christmas season can almost seem like a cruel joke if we look at the way our culture has started defining it. Happy holidays?? Are you kidding me??
We need to go back to the drawing board to understand the reality of Christmas. I realized it this morning when I read in Mark 10. The heading at the end of the chapter is called “Jesus Again Predicts His Death.” I realized the Christmas story that so beautifully details the birth of a baby ends in His horrible, brutal death.
If we keep the Christmas story real we must realize that the whole season is not about life being perfect with no difficulites and no pain. Life does go on and it proves over and over that everything in this world is fallen and temporary. The real deal about Christmas is the fact that eventually as believers we will all have our own Easter morning.
There is a point in time when our lives will intersect with eternity. It is this place that every single tear will be wiped dry and once and for all we will receive perfect love and perfect days…for an eternity!
Until then we suffer with those who suffer and we do our best to bring hope to the weary and encourage those struggling. We give them the message that life is real and stops for no one, not even the season of Christmas or times of happy holidays.