Mary Jane and I were talking this morning about the stress that many feel during the Christmas Season.
The melodious tones of, the singer Andy Williams, tells us, when referring to the Christmas Season, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’
‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year’
However, for many…the wonder…is missing.
In the United States Christmas has become a serious commercial enterprise.
Many retail stores make the preponderance of their profits during the Christmas Season.
Throughout the years I have stood in many check out lines at malls and retail outlets and witnessed numerous people attempting to purchase toys and Christmas gifts…often with credit cards that were subsequently rejected…only for the embarrassed holiday shoppers to produce another credit card…and often two or three…to make the purchases that they felt compelled to engage in…to create the ‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ ambiance that popular media promises.
Have you ever shopped on Christmas Eve and witnessed the frantic panic of last minute shoppers?
Or, what of the many who have experienced loss of loved ones…and this time of year…is especially painful.
Or, what of the lonely…the ill…the elderly…and the forgotten and homeless?
Each Christmas Season the joy of the Holiday presents itself to me in the loving and caring interaction with other members of our human family.
Almost 20 years ago, Mary Jane and Aaron and Jonathon and I attended our first Christmas Eve church service at First Presbyterian.
The magic and the reverence for the Christ Child…was compelling and it was the epitome of my Christmas revelry.
The ancient axiom that it is more blessed to give than receive…is true.
To focus on others…the needy…the lonely…those who have given up expecting that anyone cares for them…is…perhaps…the reverence for the birth of him…for whom there was,’ no room in the inn.’
As I have grown older, I wish for the Christmas Spirit of humanity and caring and inclusiveness and acceptance of our differences…to be my standard for living…and to have Christmas all year.
Often, those who are not of the Christian faith see little that would convince them to want such a system of belief and lifestyle.
If Mary and Joseph and the Babe… were just the story of a select… slivered… segment of humanity…then what is the dramatic and compelling reason to be a part of this elite group?
‘For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’
Matthew 25: 35-40 KJV