And just like that, Christmas has arrived. Each year it seems that the days go by quicker and quicker and suddenly, you’re standing in line waiting to pay for an armful of Christmas gifts. I don’t know about you, but certainly in my life, it has felt like Christmas has crept up on me and I am completely unprepared for it. However now that it is here, I am so glad because I am ready to stop and rest and just be. I am ready to stop and breathe.
It has been a big year. Life has been challenging and beautiful and just plain interesting since last Christmas. Life has taken some interesting turns: up, down, sideways, through underground tunnels. New memories were made, some good and some not so good. Old memories were rehashed, some good and some not so good. There have been prayers answered, yet some prayers are still in the making. There has been time of such deep and joyful laughter that it has left me rolling over with tears falling down my face, and there have been times of such heartache and sorrow that I have drenched my pillow with my tears. But with all that’s gone on, my soul is thankful. Life is always going to have its blah moments; there will always be moments in our lives that are hard, and some will be harder than others, but when we stop and think about all that we have in life, there is much to be thankful for. And Christmas is a great time to stop and give thanks for all that we have in life, but most importantly, it’s a time to remember the greatest gift that was ever given, Jesus.
Christmas is a time to remember the gift of the Son to the world, a gift that bought salvation and hope. And where there is HOPE, there is life.
When we gather at Christmas, it is a time to stop and give thanks to the Father who loved us so much that He sent His Son. It’s a time to lift our eyes to the Son, who loved us enough to go to the Cross. It is a time to stop and put aside all else and just sit in awe and wonder and marvel at Jesus. It’s also a time to give thanks to those around us who love us. A time to let go and forgive others. To forgive ourselves. Christmas is a time of love, not judgement or condemnation, so let’s be nice to others. Let’s be kind to ourselves. Too often, we are gracious and kind to everyone around us yet with reserve the harshest judgement and expectations for ourselves. That is not what Jesus came for. He did not come to condemn or to hurt but to bring life. To bring salvation. To bring peace for our souls and fullness of joy.
But here’s the thing. Life might not be easy for you right now. And if that is you, know that you are not alone. If that is you, my prayer for you is that you feel His love today, wrapping you in His arms. That you would feel His touch on you and know that He goes before you and cares for you and is for you. That you would know that you are loved. That no matter what, God is loves you. Christmas isn’t always easy for everyone, it can bring anxiety and stress and family friction, and if that sounds like your Christmas, can I encourage to be nice to yourself. Take time out and just be. Be kind to yourself and extend the grace to yourself that you extend to others, because you deserve kindness too.
On this Christmas Day, here is my prayer for anyone reading this: that you know how amazing and valuable and loved you are. That you would be surrounded by love and peace and happiness and good food. That you would be surrounded by kindness, and that you would receive kindness as well as extend it those around you, including yourself. But above all, my prayer is that you would know that there is a Father in Heaven that loves you so much He sent His Son for YOU. I pray that you recognise your priceless worth and know that you are loved so deeply by a Heavenly Father. On this Christmas Day, may you feel peace, love and joy.
To my family and friends reading this: THANK YOU for your love, support, guidance, correction, laughter and countless coffees.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. God bless. xx