What is it about this time of the year that brings the worst out in people?
The thing is I know Christmas has become a bit of a nightmare for many folk. It is cold, usually rainy and grey and the pressures of buying for people are phenomenal – particularly if you have little children – and that is without mentioning the endless post office queues, the stupidly busy shopping centres and the relentless ‘sell, sell, sell’ advertisements.
BUT Christmas should be a time of joy, and happiness and a genuine giving spirit.
No I am not being naive.
It is another of those plots of the devil’s that we have so readily fallen into. Even mature Christian believers can be heard being Scrooge like each festive season. Somewhere along the line we have been sold and have bought into wholesale the ‘fashionable’ view that Christmas is not to be enjoyed. What once was a season of Joy, goodwill, giving, family and merriment has become a sardonic and melancholy holiday.
It is not even that most people can actually claim not to enjoy Christmas. Sure, there are those for whom Christmas is a genuine struggle and a unhappy time. Yet most people if you scratch the surface will acknowledge that underneath they rather like the Yuletide.
So why the glum faces?
I suspect that as with so much of modern culture we are influenced in our views of Christmas by a cynical and sarcastically media driven culture. We are told that we cannot enjoy the Christmas season, it has become fashionable to be cynical and morose.
Well, I say that as a Christian Church, as believers in Christ, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas, we should stand against that tide of cynacism.
Yes, sometimes Christmas is tough. Yes we need to reach out to those in need. Yes the pressures financially are a struggle sometimes (particularly in the current climate). But there IS a reason to be joyful, a reason to celebrate a reason to encourage all those we know to celebrate too.
Jesus Christ was born a baby, to a lowly peasant girl in the least auspicious circumstances imaginable – so that we would be able to be able to approach the holiness of God because he became like us and took the fall for all the naff stuff we do.
I cannot think of anything better to celebrate this Christmas.
So lets put away the glum faces, the insincere melancholy – and celebrate the birth of Jesus.