Can it be Christmas time again? Why, I’m still combing the carpet for the green needles from the imitation greenery we used last year. The tag attached to that twelve foot garland might have said “Silk,” but it was a dead ringer for plastic, and the red berries could have been mistaken for something you’d use in a pea shooter. The “real” pine cones, gathered from Mama’s yard in Georgia, were my consolation. I’ve come a long way from that girl who grew up with real pine garlands on the mantle and fresh magnolia leaves on the front door to the practical woman who has a pre-lit artificial tree with a spray can of Christmas scent in her hand.
Now I can settle for artificial greenery when I know the Meaning and Message of Christmas are real. I know it’s real because depending on Jesus makes a difference in the way I think, and in what I do and say, and in how I spend my time and money. Serving Him makes a difference in the way we look at His world.
Let us sit in front of our garland-framed fireplaces, with the Christmas carols playing in the background, and let us enjoy the sights, the sounds and the smells of Christmas in our homes. Let us sing the songs of Christmas, but let us not forget that not everyone is singing. Today’s headlines remind us that all is not well in the world.
Silent night, Holy night
State of emergency declared in Tennessee because of wildfires
All is calm, all is bright,
United Nations – Emergency Meeting on Aleppo’s “descent into hell”
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Hundreds of thousands are left without food or water in Mosul
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Hate crimes surge in November
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.
Giant shield placed over Chernobyl nuclear reactor
So in the midst of all our festivities this Season, when that quiet, warm, and peaceful feeling settles around us, we should be grateful and we shouldn’t neglect to celebrate. But perhaps we should be mindful that God has children who are in hard places where pain and suffering have taken up residence. Let us pray for them. Let us pray that the peaceful presence of Jesus Himself will envelop them and encourage them. Let us pray for those who know nothing of our Lord, and pray for those who bring hope to them.
Christmas is real, and it brings not only hope, but it brings assurance that God is not artificial or counterfeit. He’s alive, and the most astounding thing is that He loves you and me.