‘There’ll be no sad faces on Christmas.’

Bethan Conway writes:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the hap-happiest season of all. At Christmas time we let in light and banish shade. You’d better not shout, you’d better not cry, you’d better not pout. Christmas, it will calm the storm. Gone away is the blue bird, here to stay is the new bird. Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.

According to popular Christmas music, it is unacceptable to be down during the festive season. So now that things are gearing up for parties, carol services, shopping, concerts, family get-togethers, meals and present wrapping, forget about your sorrows. In the words of the Grinch, when he had learnt the real meaning of Christmas:

‘There’ll be no sad faces on Christmas.’

But that’s not always our experience of Christmas though. It’s unrealistic and misses the whole point of Christmas to assume it’s going to be great. People are often sad at Christmas time. It can be a difficult reminder of past times, or serve as a highlight to the loneliness many feel. It’s a time of bereavement for those lost, and of grief for what we never managed to have. Actually, I’m glad that we can experience sadness at Christmas time, it makes the joy feel even sweeter. Let me explain myself.

Christmas is about Jesus coming to this world to offer sinful people a way back to God. It was God’s great rescue plan for the fallen people he loves so much. God became a human. Do you get what that means? God, all powerful, all knowing, no limits, no restrictions, became a human when Jesus was born! God, in Jesus, had his nappy changed and was fed because He couldn’t do it. He was taught to walk and talk. He felt sorrow and anguish and tiredness and hunger. He experienced temptation and separation from his Father, God. Why did he do it? For love. For His love of lying, angry, perverted, selfish, idolising, whiney, grumpy, hateful, sinful people. Can you get your head around what that means? I don’t understand it because I’m too self-righteous and selfish to love someone else that much, and if you’re honest with yourself I’m sure you don’t understand it either.

So when we don’t feel the happiness and excitement that we are told we should at Christmas time, thank God for Jesus. Thank Him because we CAN know true joy in Jesus. Thank Him that He loves us so much that Jesus came to restore our relationship with Him. Thank Him that He will continue to forgive you for the rest of your earthly life. Thank Him for Christmas.