Monday, December 21, 2015
It's Never Enough!!
I've been pondering this whole 'people-getting-depressed-at-Christmas' phenomenon. Obviously people are depressed all year round, but depression tends to rise at Christmas time. I admit to having some melancholy moments myself. Tragedy and illness don't take a Christmas break, do they? I am fascinated by the strange dichotomy of people feeling depressed while simultaneously creating this frenetic celebration. We are hell bent on finding that Christmas spirit even though we're a frazzled mess or secretly crying in the bathroom. We attempt to recapture childhood memories by reliving a perfect Christmas past or glue and tie our way via Pinterest to a picture-perfect holiday home. Cue the snow, please. We are seeking perfection. We think we can recapture this by giving the perfect gift or creating the perfect party. We keep searching to create with our own hands the perfect Christmas and it can never be. Nine times out of ten, it will fall short because something is always missing. Every gift we give or receive, every cookie we bake may bring a smile and a moment of satisfaction, but it will fall short of our heart's deepest desire. Within days we will be longing and seeking all over again. We want our loved ones back, we long for fractured relationships to be mended, or we suffer for poor health to be healed. More gifts or that perfectly decorated tree can't make it better. The moment we think we've achieved it, we turn around and something else is out of sync. It cannot be fixed by our own hands; not in a million years. No wonder it all comes to a head on this one day of the year that we want to be perfect, Christmas.
How can we find joy when our hearts are broken? The world is broken in a way that man cannot repair, not individually nor collectively. Joy will come only when we realize that we can let go of our striving to make it perfect. We need a Savior. We need to know that we need a Savior. Jesus came and fixed it for us. He is the substitute perfection for all of our imperfection. Therein lies our hope. That is what we are celebrating!
So, rejoice in burnt cookies, light strands that have gone dark, tears shed for the mothers, fathers and children we desperately miss. This is exactly what we should feel. We need to know what we are missing and be able to name it. We are celebrating all that is broken and that God sent a Savior to mend it and to make it more than right! There is nothing more to strive for other than to keep our eyes focused on Him. Every year and every day I need this reminder.
I love how Handel's Messiah takes the promises of Isaiah and sings it to fruition with the Gospel of Luke. Listen to this beautiful oratorio this holiday season and hear the promises of the Gospel put to song.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:2 & 6