This time of the year comes with mixed feelings. For most, we love the Christmas songs, lights, and gifts. For others, it is a reminder of their lack, whether it be financially or loss of loved ones. However, somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, joy can be found. The reason for the season will always be Jesus, his great arrival into the earth, and the victory he would eventually secure for humanity.
So how do we all meet in the middle to find joy? For those who feel sorrow during this time of year, always remember the spectacular gift that God provided in Jesus, the Prince of Peace. He gave His Son with you in mind. One who will be with you to the ends of the earth that you can cast every care on. Giving during this time of year to people or organizations that have meaning to you can bring happiness, soothing those places where you may feel a void. Even though unfortunate circumstances prevail for the moment, give at whatever level you can whether it’s a kind word, fixing a meal for someone who cannot do it for themselves or using your resources to lift someone else up.
For those of us who have hearts full of joy at this time of year, give generously, but also be wise. The retail industry is banking on you being unwise and spending beyond your means. Don’t fall into that trap. The best gift we have outside of Jesus is each other. And spending time with each other will outlast any gift we can buy. Sometimes a heartfelt word or deed at the right time carries great significance and power.
The common denominator for joy during this season is the human touch. Just being with each other, setting aside any differences and celebrating the freedom Jesus provided, the freedom to choose peace, love and joy. This season is to remind us of our victories not our losses and to remind us of each other, not things. Give generously from the love that is in your heart. And if that is difficult for you to do, find someone who is showing love and be in their presence until your heart warms.
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” (Romans 15:2 NIV)