The dark side of Christmas

I love Christmas.

The glitz. The glitter. All the Christmas lights. IMG_3383.jpg

And I am so hooked on Hallmark Christmas movies.  Sure they’re mindless. But they are fun. I love Christmas programs at church especially when little kids pick their nose and point at their parents when they’re supposed to be singing Away in a Manger.

But, sometimes I dread it too. Not the nose picking of course. That’s hilarious!

What I’m talking about is sadness. A kind of aching that slowly comes over me when I  least expect it. I begin to really feel the loss of people in my life. My Dad. My grandparents. Cousins. Close friends.

I feel hardship more keenly and disappointment much more deeply. 

And yes, it makes me cry at the most inopportune  times.

Weird I know. I’ve been wondering for years what was wrong with me.

Maybe nothing at all.

Maybe whats going on is that I’m onto something big.

Like the true meaning of Christmas.

I think its found in 

  • Loss.
  • lonliness
  • Confusion

All the things you’re not supposed to feel during the most wonderful time of the year. But it happens. Emotions, like an avalanche can flatten you in no time.

So how in the world are you supposed to be all holly jolly? When your heart is breaking. When you can barely even breathe.

I think the first line of a Christmas song by Dallas Holmes says it all.

“To a world of fear and darkness

came a light as bright as day.”

  1. Fear.
  2. Darkness.
  3. And the light.

We all know fear up close and personal. And Simon and Garfunkel were not far off when they sang “hello darkness, my old friend”. Sometimes that’s all we have left when our hope fades away. 

But, what about the light? 

That’s what we long for. No need for bulbs and cords and sockets to plug it all in. 

We long for Jesus.

The light of a tiny, baby covered in afterbirth. Wrapped in someone’s spare clothes. Cooing in the soft hay of a feeding trough. Surrounded by sweaty shepherds and sheep and cows and donkeys and who knows what other animals.IMG_3258.jpg

Emanuel.

God with us.

Thats the only we we survive the darkness. 

To know that God is with us. Always.

In our joy, in our suffering we are no longer alone. 

 

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