Sadly for some Christmas can prove to be quite difficult. I am not talking about the extra load the Moms or wives have to bear in preparing meals, wrapping presents, and shopping (not to mention cleaning up, returning gifts, etc.) I know, I know… you get tired just reading this! I am not even talking about the frustration of young parents assembling some of their first real Christmas toys….little knowing that they had been recruited as “Santa’s helpers!” These things can be wearying, but Christmas is hard for some.
- It’s tough for those going through their first Christmas without their spouse.
- It’s tough for those coming into the season without a job.
- It’s tough for the single adult who so longs to be part of their own family.
- It’s tough for the missionary family on the field living in a culture where Christmas is not celebrated…as they miss their family celebration at home.
- It’s tough for the wife of the deployed soldier; the mother of a chronically ill child; the parents of a depressed adolescent or a child in prison…the family spending Christmas in the hospital.
And let’s not forget that Christmas also was tough on Mary and Joseph.
It’s hard to imagine the difficulty of that first Christmas…a young mother bearing her first child without her own mother or a midwife present. Unthinkable! A father who had to come to grips with the assignment of raising….God’s Son. Impossible! An overpressed village with no place to find privacy or rest. A birthplace that had first been occupied by animals. The first blanket wrapping their Christ child a burial cloth.
We wipe the reality and truth off of Christmas when we think of it only as a time of rejoicing with great joy. We think this season of the homeless on our streets and the refugees from other lands. We think of the abused child or the abandoned orphan.
And we remember that Jesus came for them as well. The One who was born to peasant parents in a third world county who later themselves became refugees in Egypt understands our plight. He gets it. He stands with the lonely, counsels the fearful, meets the abandoned….and never leaves us.
He is Christ, the Lord.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
REFLECTION: How can we make room for the hurting this Christmas season?