Luke 1:14 – And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. (NKJV)
"Missing Christmas? How absurd!" That was what I thought my husband would say when I told him that I wanted to miss Christmas this year, but he didn't, and we will be doing Christmas in a different way this year.
Grief comes in different stages. I moved through the first Christmas after my dad's death in a numb state, as it had come so soon afterwards. The next year, we were working through all the firsts: first birthday, first Father's Day, first anniversary for my mom, and so on. Now Christmas is coming again, and I am in a panic of emotions, not wanting it to come. The fact is that my dad never really liked Christmas and all the commercialism — he worked in the retail field and was a non-believer. When I was young, I would get the Christmas songsheet out and go around the house singing. I can still see him smiling from behind his newspaper. I would start bugging him in the middle of November to put the tree up, and by the end of November, it was up. Our tree never had any store-bought ornaments; it was always decorated with hand-made ornaments, just as the tree in our home is today. At our last Christmas together, he had accepted Jesus as his Saviour, and that Christmas was very special.
"How can Christmas be the same without him?" I said to a friend over coffee. My friend said to me, "Re-check your thinking! Your dad is in heaven with the One who came for our salvation, so that we would have a place in heaven." Basically, my dad is with "The Reason for the season". Wow! Powerful words to let sink in!
This Christmas season, we need to keep in mind the people who might be moving through the stages of grief. We can pray and ask the Lord what He wants us to say to them. Yes, they may have tears, but that's okay. Not talking about it to people is even harder.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we are so grateful for our salvation. At this season of the celebration of the birth of Your Son, help us to share Your truth in love and grace. We pray that people will not just attend a Christmas service, but that they will also come into a relationship with You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.