I have a hard time with holidays. I love all of the lights, decorations, and festivities. But I have a hard time finding joy in them. Not because I'm some sort of a Grinch. I just miss my family like crazy. November and December these past few years have been darkened with pity parties rather than cheerful celebration. An empty ache of loneliness creeping inside of my chest, building up until it bursts forth into a full-blown sobfest.
The thing is, holidays, especially the Christmas Season? Not about me, believe it or not. I know, I know. Hard to grasp. News flash! Christmas. Is. About. JESUS. Woah! Who knew? It's not about gifts, it's not about carols, it's not even about family. It's supposed to be about the birth of our Lord and Savior. The human birth of the only One able to save the world from sin (like my selfishness). I should be out sharing the news with the world! Not wallowing in self pity, eating copious amounts of junk food, and watching sad movies.
The craziest part is, that empty feeling of loneliness I hold so dear to my heart during the holidays? Not nearly as horrible as the ache of a lost soul reaching out for someone to save them. There are so many hurting people out there, looking for answers. Filling up their lives with work, drinking, sports, sex, television, drugs, whatever it is that they are making the lord of their lives, but still not feeling whole. I would rather spend a lifetime of lonely Christmases than go back to a time when I didn't have the peace and love that Jesus provides.
So this Christmas, I ask that you take a moment and ask God, "What can I do for YOU this year?" I'm not saying you should quit all of the wonderful traditions that make this holiday a joyful season for you. I'm merely suggesting that we, as Christians, live a little more like Christ, and think a little less about ourselves.
If the empty ache of loneliness is touching your life, if you're searching for the only One who can bring you true peace and joy; I have good news. There is Someone who can fill that void. And there are a bunch of great places to tell you about Him. Churches in the next few weeks will be having extra services to accompany the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. Check one out. If you're in Billings, my church rocks socks and will be having services at 10a.m. Sunday the 16th and at 4p.m. Monday the 24th at West High. You should check one out. It could certainly change your life! :)