Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Noel, Merry and Bright are expressions that are flying fast around us as we approach Christmas and the new year. For some people it is difficult to find joy, contentment, or peace. Maybe it has been a difficult year; precarious work situation, separation from loved ones, the death of a loved one, or a divorce has loomed large. For some the struggle with addiction makes life miserable. For many family gatherings are dreaded and stressful events. Some are exhausted by the violence and bitterness of the year and ready to embrace 2019.
There are no adequate words. There is no magic fix. The main thing to know; is that you are not alone. Although circumstances may not be shared by all--the uncertainty, grief and struggles are real. There are many who are wading through the “holiday cheer” with the same grim determination to get through one day at a time.
Perhaps all of us need to receive Christmas as it is—receive it as you are without feeling like you have to pretend to be happy or jolly. For others who may be filled with merry and bright, be aware that everyone does not share the same outlook.
Lord Christ, you come into the world as one of us, and suffer as we do. As we go through this time, help us realize that you are with us; that we have no secrets from you; and that your living grace enfolds us. In the security of your embrace we pray. Amen.