Christmas can be a very challenging time for a lot of people. There’s so much expectation from the media, our neighbours, our family and friends. It must be particularly difficult for someone who had lost a loved one during this time of the year. It must be difficult for those that are struggling to make ends meet. It can be a very lonely time.
I think it’s important to remember all those who neither have the money nor the family to make it a joyous time.
So what is Christmas about? Non-Christians tend to think of this time as a time for family. Is that what this is all about?
Recently, along with some church friends, we studied up some verses from the book of Matthew 4:23-5:16. This is the part where Jesus went up the mountain and gave us the Beautitudes. He blessed the ‘poor in spirit’, ‘those who mourn’, ‘the meek’, ‘those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’, ‘merciful’, ‘pure in heart’, ‘peacemakers’ and ‘those who are persecuted for righteousnsess’ sake’.
Like some people, when I think of Christmas I think about the birth of Jesus Christ, but more than just his birth, I think about all of the wonderful things that he’s going to bring to the world. I think about the world he lived in and how much he has changed us, if not us personally then the culture he has changed because of his teachings. But since reading those verses, I want to think about those whom he blessed, those who were ‘poor in spirit’, ‘those who mourn’ and all those who either need encouragement or those who are kind.
It’s all too easily to think of ourselves or even feel disappointed that we are not meeting up to some expectation that either the media or someone has taught us. So if you’re ever feeling the pressure of Christmas or even the aftermath of Christmas, please give some thought as to why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In this sense, we should be celebrating Christmas everyday.