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Reasons to celebrate

By the time you read this, Christmas will be over, and all the gifts will be unwrapped. But as I am writing this, Christmas is still a few days away, and I have been watching the hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready, shopping, wrapping, delivering, planning and cooking. A lot of these people are stressed, but it is in a good sort of way. The holidays are exciting.

But I am reminded of people who may not be experiencing the joy during the season: Those who have no finances to make ends meet, much less shop for gifts. Those who have no family members to celebrate with, or who have lost a loved one recently. Those who are sick or have a family member who is terminally ill and know that this Christmas will be their last.

The reasons for their misfortune are many, but the deep sadness it brings is the same. As I think of these, I wonder how do they cope? For myself, I am blessed to have my two sons with me and my parents and immediate family members are living not too far away. Christmas with them is always a special time. Yet I am still grieving over the hole left in my life from divorce. The holidays bring to the surface memories that I had hidden beneath the business of daily living.

As I sat at an event recently, I'm sorry to admit that the self-pity grew as I focused on my situation. Then I started thinking about Christmas and the baby in the manger. I wondered about that baby - He was the King of the Universe, the Supreme all-powerful, all-knowing, overflowing with perfection God. He was immortal. Yet to fulfill a promise, a plan, He became flesh. And not some glorious human, He became a helpless infant. I wonder, as He lay in that manger, did He have the mind of an infant, or of the Supreme Being? Talk about having a reason to feel sorry for one's self. How could I feel sorry for myself when God Himself had provided a way for me to experience all the fullness of life that He intended at creation? He didn't sit on His throne and say, "Well, you made your bed, now you have to lay in it."

Okay, technically He's saving that for a future day. But for Christmas Day - and as I look ahead to the New Year, He has given me a hope that is beyond my imagination. So today I am singing "Joy to the World, the Lord has come." God blessed me with His Son, but He did not bless me with talented vocal cords, so for the benefit of those around me, I sing to myself. And I can smile inside and outside as I say, "Happy New Year."

Web posted on Thursday, December 28, 2006

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