‘Tis the season to be jolly
This time of year can be absolutely fun and wonderful for so many people. The traveling, the shopping, the carols, the lights, the presents… what’s not to love? All these things would put anyone in a great mood! Right?
Not necessarily. Christmas can be a very hard and lonely time for many people. Life doesn’t stop just because Christmas is around the corner. And life can be hard! In fact, observing so many in a cheerful mood, going to parties, singing carols and eating cookies may make many feel depressed.
But aren’t Christians different?
None of this changes for believers. Faith does not ensure that when the celebration of the birth of Christ rolls around each year that saints will automatically feel cheerful and jolly. Some are struggling financially, or have recently lost a loved one, or have health issues they are trying to figure out. Some have wayward children or are having their own spiritual battles.
During this season, nothing changes when it comes to the church and how we are to treat each other. We don’t need to cancel Christmas celebrations or stop talking about the birth of Christ or our parties or our cookies. But can we be sensitive? Can we look out for those who are hurting and reach out to them?
Jesus, our example
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2: 3-11
I love how Paul points out that looking out for the needs of each other in humility is related to Christmas. After all, the end of verse 11 says, “being born in the likeness of men”. In other words, it means He came to earth as a tiny baby like the rest of us.
God became man. And His absolute perfect example of humility is what needs to spur us on to be servants to each other and to look after the interests of others.
But what can we do?
At this point, I would love to type out a list. A list of how to help others who are feeling down this Christmas. But honestly, it’s going to be different in each situation. One person might need to be invited to a party to be with friends.
One might need you to go sit with her in the quiet. One might need financial help.
If you take some quiet moments away from the busyness and just ask the Lord to direct you in how to help your fellow believers and to show you their needs, the Holy Spirit may very well direct you to someone specifically and show you how to encourage them.
If you are unsure of how to help, just ask the person! He may not end up telling you how to help him, but he will know he has a good friend who cares.
What if I’m the one struggling?
If you are the one having a hard time this Christmas, I can only direct you to the Lord. We all have fears, doubts, guilt, trying circumstances, temptations, etc. They manifest themselves in different ways for each person, but thankfully we have a God who is faithful.
Please take heart that you are so loved and that Jesus Christ is coming back to make all things new. May you be comforted by these words. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want our team to pray for you specifically through this season.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18