Christmas is a time associated with joy, celebration and excitement. As Christians it is good to be at the forefront of celebrating, we have the privilege of knowing the reason for the season! Rather than moaning about the materialism and busyness, perhaps we can be the ones sharing the joy and creating special moments of happy reflection and warmth for our families, neighbours and work colleagues. At your local church, there might be one service that you look forward to with anticipation. Maybe it is the quiet candlelit reflective service, perhaps it is the contemporary rock carols or the children’s Christingle. Choose your favourite and don’t go alone! Who could you bring with you? Invite them for mince pies and spiced cider then walk in together.
Or maybe, this Christmas, life events are overshadowing the happiness and excitement. In my family a loved one is facing a serious medical condition and a long journey of treatment ahead. This Christmas will be different, with difficult moments and unexpected challenges. It doesn’t feel right to be jolly, yet for me,holding onto the reality of Jesus is more vital than ever. I may not be able to have a houseful of partying guests, but I can still be open with my friends about my faith and how it is Jesus that is keeping me going right now. I may not be full of festive spirit but I am choosing joy, taking my inspiration from Kay Warren and her reflective book.
My favourite youtube clip, that can bring a smile whatever my circumstances is from St Paul’s church in Auckland. It is a great clip to show at a gathering of friends, a service or just to forward on Facebook. Cute kids, humour, quality filming, lack of cringe and jargon, and a great message all wrapped into a little youtube film.
Whatever you are facing this Christmas time- may God be your strength and joy and may you find ways of sharing your story with those who need Jesus.