What thoughts and feelings fill your mind and heart while preparing for the ‘most wonderful time of the year’? The very thought of Christmas creates joyful tingling from my head to my toes! Grumbling, growling, getting stuck in the past, especially going overboard with gifts, parties, and plans can steal precious time for people to relish the real reason for the season! Time is the gift we must carefully consider and cherish as we celebrate CHRISTmas! So, how are you spending time while checking off the ‘to do’s’ on your holiday lists? Lyrics to a favorite carol should bring harmony for celebrations all over God’s creation…”Hark! the herald angels sing. Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; with angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
What feelings prevail as you proclaim? Does happiness or heartbreak hail as you deck your home with boughs of holly and do family traditions? Emotional scars and special memories of Christmases past can stifle joy or send blessings beyond understanding. In this sacred season, we can enjoy simple pleasures by keeping Christ front and center while purposefully pruning ‘things we choose to do’ that steal our time with Father God and family! Thinking of loved ones gone on to glory or unable to be home for the holidays can be painful, especially those first year celebrations without their presence in our homes. Heartbroken, hurting, or hardhearted people can miss the Master’s healing and restoration of happiness when carolers sing and bells of Christmas ring. The fourth verse of Hark! the Herald Angels Sing shares feelings for homes and hearts in all nations to proclaim persistently and profoundly for peace and promise to ring harmoniously from here to Heaven!
Sing the words with passion for the Christ child who came with good news for all God’s children to celebrate and share. “Come, Desire of nations, come! Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conquering seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head, Now display Thy saving power, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.”
God desires for all nations to embrace humility while restoring Christian character that keeps us close to one another and our Creator. Therefore, it is possible to prevail and enjoy Christmas even when hurting hearts and sad situations permeate thoughts and feelings. The joy of decorating my home and carrying on family traditions could have stopped if Satan’s hateful way had prevailed in my hurting heart. Have you also been at risk when loneliness loomed and celebrations continued? Rising up with confidence in Christ, who keeps His promise to bind wounds and heal hearts, can keep us singing as we go forth in faith. God’s gifts of joy, peace, and love – even when plans for ‘Happy Everything’ does not pan out in our lives – can be the best gifts we give this Christmas.
While decorating our home this year, renewed joy rose inside with every box of Christmas treasures I declared for years I could never open… but I did! Through Christ, we can do all things! While sifting through Wise Men, santas, angels, and penguins, I pondered! Thoughts and emotions flowed at the very thought of Mary and Joseph, Baby Jesus, angels hovering on high, Wise Men giving gifts, and shepherds showing honor for the Gift from God. The very thought of loved ones celebrating in Heaven every day of the year, family and friends to celebrate with here, and the gift of His sweet Spirit alive in my home tenderizes treasures and resonates joy in my heart…as it can in yours! The very thought of celebrating God’s grace and Gift in this season with loved ones near can comfort as Christmas creeps closer. Lyrics from a sweet love song filled my home this year as I decorated and thought of loved ones so dear. Singing and swaying while hanging ornaments, placing the Nativity set on our table, and pausing to hold pictures of loved ones close to my heart caused me to pause and pray in the middle of my song for this Christmas truly seem like the most wonderful time of the year.
Think of your own loved ones as you hum the tune and feel their love. “The very thought of you – the ordinary things everybody ought to do…The mere idea of you – the longing here for you, I see your face in every flower, your smile in stars above. It’s the very thought of you…my love!”
Hopefully, this story will cause us to think on ‘things that are lovely’ while celebrating Christmas with joy, peace, and renewed love for the Lord and loved ones. Jesus came at Christmas long ago and will come again as promised when He left here to sit at the right Hand of His Father in Heaven. We can only imagine the celebrations enjoyed in that celestial place where Christ is! Why miss the gift of happily celebrating here with family and friends while knowing we are ready when He calls us Home to celebrate for eternity with Him? Ask Jesus into your heart today if you do not know Jesus as Savior and Friend! Give gifts of peace, love, and joy as your family’s celebration centers around Him! The last two verses of the Christmas carol that stirred this story seems fitting as we prepare for Christmas…’for such a time as this’!
“Hail the heavenly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings, Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.”
“Adam’s likeness, now efface, stamp Thine image in its place;‘Glory to the newborn King’!”
As you enjoy the most wonderful time of the year, keep your thoughts and emotions in check, celebrate out loud in love, ask Christ to keep you company, and have yourselves a Merry Christmas season…for the right reason!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.