Everywhere we go, Christmas songs blare through the speakers. Every day, we get new well-wishes in the mail. Everyone gives us a festive greeting. We are all excited about giving and getting presents. We all expect a few wonderful meals.
Yet, so often we fail to experience this joy. Christmas music gets banal after hours of it. We are so rushed to make sure we get the perfect gift for everyone. We want to make sure we attend our kids Christmas pageant, the towns Christmas concert, the Christmas play at a local church, and 2 dozen Christmas parties. We feel like we’re a chicken running around with its head cut off but we need to smile constantly.
In all the hustle and bustle, what gets lost? The real meaning of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas goes beyond saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” It is that God became man so he could share all our sufferings, all our anxieties, all our stresses, and the complete picture of what it means to be human. It’s easy for good Christians to get caught up in activities without stopping for a few moments every day to realize what God has done for them.
Only when we speak to Jesus in prayer, do we really understand Christmas. It’s much easier to say “Jesus is the reason for the season,” then to get down our knees and thank him for the miracle of the incarnation. But if we do the 1st without the 2nd, we are hypocrites.
I can already hear you now: “But Father, I don’t have time.” You have time to breathe. Prayer is breathing for the soul. Beyond that, prayer helps us focus so dedicating 15 minutes to speak with Jesus often saves us 15 minutes that would be wasted later in the day. Finally, prayer is about attitude more than about time.
This Christmas, let’s get down our knees and realize how much Jesus has done for us. It may not relieve all stress, but I’m sure it will help. Then “Merry Christmas” has real meaning. I wrote this a few days ago but I think publishing it on Christmas Eve gives extra emphasis tot he fact we need to pray to experience Christmas fully.