May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope ~ Romans 15:13
There are a lot of ways to celebrate Christmas and so many meanings behind the word. We can go theological or we can go by its secular interpretation. Whichever meaning one chooses to relate to what Christmas is all about, it depends on the individual’s life experiences.
We all came from different backgrounds, different religious practices, education, and cultures. As children, we were even convinced that there is this nice, friendly, old man in a red suit who watches over us throughout the year and rewards us in the end with gifts if we did well. We all transition in life from children to adults and in between we go through different life experiences. Our spirit, mind, and hearts become one ~ we experience fun and laughter, we go through falling in love for the first time to heartbreak, the joy of seeing our child when we first hold them in our arms, the sadness when we see them leave and begin their journey, perhaps the tragedy of losing a loved one and knowing we will never see them again because they have reached their journey. We celebrate so many levels of experience in our lives; birth of a child, graduation, marriage, separation, illnesses, and death.
All these experiences and emotions that we go through (love, loss, joy, excitement, sadness, and so forth) are shared with us because someone who cared so much about us wanted to share His same experiences. To top it all, He even sprinkled the special gift of free will because He trusted that somehow, we will recognize His existence in our life. No matter how people embrace (or avoid) the relevance of our Heavenly Father to the celebration of Christmas, one thing that is clearly defined is that we are all connected as His children ~ we all go through the same life experiences of happiness, excitement, pain, suffering, and loss. Christmas is the time that we are reminded of when our Abba Father gave us the Gift of Hope ~ His son Jesus Christ. Hope is one of the fundamental reasons why we celebrate Christmas. It is with this gift that we can move forward and embrace any obstacles that come our way, knowing that waking up another day makes a difference. Another day, another opportunity to renew our lives in Christ.
I celebrate Christmas because it always gives me the joy of knowing that whatever I went through this year (whether good or bad), I know that hope is waiting for me next year. I know that my Lord and my God is always there to carry me through.
Thus, when you sit with your families and friends on the eve of Christmas and look at everyone’s smiles and feel the warmth of their hugs on Christmas morning, feel the hope behind those embraces because that’s God’s love for you.
Wishing you and your loved ones Hope, Joy, and Love this Christmas.