Today is Christmas and I’m alone. No family get-together. No gift exchange. No big meal. No jingle belling or singing carols around the piano.
But don’t feel sorry for me. I’m in my jammies, watching Christmas movies and eating popcorn and Christmas cookies. Dinner will be lobster and baked potato for one. And it’s exactly what I wanted to do.
We had our family Christmas celebration last weekend, so my kids and grandkids can go to their in-laws’ houses on Christmas. It spreads out the to-do and to-go list. Plus, we get our shopping done before the last-minute shoppers flood the stores. Some years we wait until after the “big day” to take advantage of the after-Christmas sales.
You see, there’s nothing special about December 25th. Many scholars believe that shepherds would not have had their flocks out on the hills in the middle of winter, dispelling the idea that Jesus was born “in the bleak midwinter,” as the carol says.
So why do we celebrate Christmas in winter?
Some say it was to commemorate the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, because it has the least daylight.
I think that’s exactly why Christmas is celebrated when it is.
Jesus is the Light that was sent into a dark world. Things were bleak for the Jews living under Roman rule. Their Promised Land was no longer theirs, and many were wondering where God was in all of that.
Sometimes we wonder the same. Where is God in all the turmoil, evil, and violence of our world? And in the darkness in our hearts?
He’s waiting to be invited in. That’s why Jesus came. He wants to spread His light into our lives and our homes, all year long, not just at Christmas.
I know this from experience. Even in the darkest times of my life – and I’ve had more than my share – I could feel his presence. He’s with me today as I enjoy lobster and Christmas movies. (By the way, lobster tails are on sale at the grocery store every year at this time!)
So Christ came, not just at Christmas to live with and walk among us, but to live in and through us all year long. He can bring light into your life, if you’ll only invite Him in.
Now you know why I’m alone but not lonely on Christmas. Jesus is with me. And He can be with you too. Just ask Him!
Have a very Merry Christmas!