The path to Christmas is seldom easy. We do not read of any who were present that day of Christ’s birth who found an easy way there. And sometimes our path to Christmas is more difficult than others.
This year is my turn at a difficult path to Christmas. Our first months after Pam’s death have been a mixture of highs and lows. We have been greatly loved as a family by the churches we each serve. My children, in spite of the hectic lives they lead, having carefully made time for me as a more constant presence in their lives. And the Presence of the Lord, despite the pain I feel, has been so incredibly real to me.
But Christmas… well you know how this holiday goes. It is filled with memory “hooks” that pull our minds back to sweet times in the past. No doubt, Pam’s favorite holiday. She was a “Christmas” girl.
It seems that every other Christmas carol I hear was “her favorite.” I guess there were very few that weren’t. Our house was normally the most “decked” in the neighborhood. Thankfully this year my neighbors across the street got the decorating memo, so I don’t need to put mine out. I’ll just borrow the light from theirs!
The truth about Christmas, though, is that Christ came with great joy… and great sorrow. We read quickly past the story of the babies around Jerusalem who were slaughtered by a mad king, jealous of a baby “king” whom he heard had been born right under his nose.
Mourning filled the houses of many as they buried the lifeless bodies of their infant boys. I guess that’s one part of the Christmas path we don’t want to explore, until we don’t have a choice.
Jesus was born in the midst of our fears, our sorrows and our suffering. His path, beyond all, was the most difficult… and the most tear-filled.
But this year, especially I am so very grateful He made it.
” A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning….” Matthew 2:18a
Loving Father, we know that as Christmas approaches, the path of many is a labored one. Suffering has visited some in the form of grief, of cancer, of surgeries, of dementia or of divorce. Loss of jobs has been a part of some stories, and some simply come to the season again… lonely. We pray for the struggling, the hospitalized, the homeless, the prisoner, the family struggling with depression or addiction. May the Light of the World who came to dwell among us, especially visit them this year. We need it. In Jesus’ name we pray.