Sometimes, for some people, Christmas can be a sad and lonely time of year. Sometimes loss leaves an empty spot at the table. Sometimes broken relationships make the festive mood seem hollow. Sometimes unmet expectations or extra stress can tarnish what is “supposed to be” a happy day.
I’ve got news for you: there is no “right” way to celebrate Christmas. You aren’t any less of a broken or sinful person on this day than on any other; and neither are the broken and sinful people you are going to see today. Whether you feel awkward in your group, or awkward without it, you don’t have to “put on a happy face” or “make the best of it.”
Jesus came to be with you in your broken and messed-up life, right where you are. There will be moments of joy and love and togetherness as well as times of sadness or shame or loss. Jesus signed up for all of it, because he came to be with you.
I love how John 1:14 reads in The Message: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” God made his home with you: You! You the way you really are, not you the way you—or anyone else—thinks you should be.
Celebrate Christmas as yourself this year; Jesus is with you and for you today, no matter what.
John 1:10-14 (The Message)
He was in the world,
the world was there through him,
and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
Jesus, thank you for meeting me right where I am.
I don’t need a “perfect Christmas;” I just need you.
Be present for me today, Lord, no matter what. Amen.