So You’re Feeling Neither Holly nor Jolly

Dan Akroyd as a rather upset Santa in "Trading Places"
Dan Akroyd as a rather upset Santa in “Trading Places”

I wrote and scheduled this post several days ago–well before the tragic events in Connecticut.
At the time, I still had the general frustration and sadness of post-Black-Friday-fallout ringing in my head. Overall though, I believe the sentiment behind this post remains apropos.
There are many families who will be feeling none of the joy and spirit of this holiday season. My heart still breaks as I picture the brightly wrapped toys and presents under the tree for many of those children who won’t be there to open them.
May the name of the perpetrator pass into the realms of obscurity. And, may the names and memories of these children live on as a reminder and memorial that this tragedy will not fade in vain. May all of us grasp onto and display the grace, peace and faith of the father of Emilie Parker.
And may the Savior of the world return soon.  I, for one, am so done with this world.
~ Kent  12/17/2012 

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It’s the best time of the year 

Yes, the time of year where friends and family gather, merry is made, joy is celebrated, and a jolly, fat man in a red suit with eight flying reindeer brings toys to all the good little kiddies and lumps of coal or a package of underwear and socks to the rest.  This season makes us all just so dang . . . happy!  Right?  I mean, just listen to all the wonderfully saccharine Christmas songs flooding the radio these days.  Happy, happy, happy!  Fun, fun, fun!

What?  You’re not happy?  You’re kind of stressed? Frustrated? Tense?

Really??!!  How . . . odd?

This season is supposed to be all about family and friends and gatherings and happiness and ‘peace on earth’ and, and, and . . .

. . . and all the other things that seem to be missing.

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet

Yes, because everyone else is just sssooooo darn friendly this time of year.  “Hey neighbor! You don’t mind if I take this last 50% off cell phone from the Black Friday sale at Walmart, do ya?  Oh, you do?  So sorry.  My mistake.  Can I have my arm back, please?”

Ho ho the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me 

Unless, of course, this was the year she’s left you.  Did you know that this time of year sees a general spike in both suicides and divorces?  Yay, and Ho, Ho, Ho!

I’m sorry, I really don’t mean to bum you out but, if this time of year is supposed to be so Holly and Jolly, why . . . aren’t we?  What are we missing?

Well, I’ve got an easy, obvious answer, but I think that may be a part of the problem.  It’s too obvious.  It’s become trivial.  It’s become a footnote in the annals of Christmas lore.  Or, I should say, HE has become a footnote . . .

Yes, Christmas is about the birth of Christ.  Remember Him?  “Love God”?  “Love Your Neighbor”? (Which may mean giving him that last incredibly discounted cell phone.)

Okay, so the holiday may have been stolen from the pagans.  Okay, so Jesus may not have been born exactly on December 25th.  That’s kinda my point.  It’s not about the holiday.  It’s about the man; the Messiah; God incarnate.

Jesus was born, lived and died for each and every one of us.  Even the guy that took the last copy of Call of Duty right out of your hands!  Even the aunt you haven’t spoken to in ten years because she called your high school sweetheart (who you haven’t seen in nine years) some derogatory, yet ultimately accurate, name.  Sure, these people may not have accepted the claims of Christ, yet, but that doesn’t make the simple truth of this season any less so, or any less necessary.

Jesus passed on an enduring legacy of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Against such things no Black Friday sale can withstand.  (I may be paraphrasing that last bit.)

What do you want your legacy to be?  That unresolved argument with Uncle Bill over whether or not you should have taken that Japan promotion?  That wonderfully sharp picture on the 50” T.V. you got for $399?  That perfect little red chiffon dress that you found for your three-year-old niece that took you hours of shopping, six different stores, four Ibuprofen and one yelling match with the retail clerk because the thing was supposed to ring up at $22.95 NOT $25.95!!!!

Hmmm, maybe your aim’s a little low.
Maybe you should be looking a little higher . . .
Higher . . .
Higher! . . .
How about looking straight up? At Him?

Too trivial?  A footnote?  I don’t think so.  Over two thousand years; He is still “the reason for the season”.

How about one of these years, your legacy becomes His story?
How about your legacy becomes an act of service towards your home group or your local soup kitchen instead of an act of warfare to grab that last discounted X-Box with the 200-gig memory?
How about your legacy becomes the relationships you build within your family instead of the ones you tear down, or ignore?
How about your legacy become the invitation you extend to that friend or neighbor who’s lost a loved one this year?

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn’t hear
Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas
This year

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Well, maybe not the 50” T.V., but you get the idea.  Besides, the H.D. in heaven is going to be wwaaayyyy sharper.

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