Christmas is fun!

Few seasons trigger the good memories that Christmas does. Think back to your childhood Christmas. Children love Christmas.

I recall my dad taking 8-mm movies on Christmas morning. We would have to wait in the hall until the bright home movie lights turned on. Only then did we make our pajama-clad entry into the living room to see the pile of presents under the tree. As a parent, I set up the video camera for our own Christmas videos – just like my dad. We had fun at Christmas.

But I also remember the feeling of sadness the Christmas after my dad died. Somehow it just didn’t seem right to be happy without him sitting in his lazy boy chair by the Christmas tree. Or the Christmas after my mom died and I was the oldest sibling. We still had Christmas at her house but it just didn’t have the same spirit without her.

For some people and during some years we are too tired, too old, or too hurt to find any joy at Christmas. The angels may sing “Joy to the Word,” but they might as well have been singing to another planet. Christmas isn’t all lights and smiles and sugar plum fairies. Sometimes we are robbed of joy by the memory of wounds we have received or choices we’ve made.

It’s not very often that I feel the freedom or the confidence to make a sweeping statement, but I think I can make this one. Every single person would rather by happy than sad at Christmas. I might even go a step further and say that most of us prefer to be around those who are joyful at Christmas.

Have you ever wondered what would make you truly happy at Christmas? If you could do what you wanted to do, have what you wanted to have, and be what you wanted to be, would you feel genuine joy. Most people think, “If only I could..” or “if only someone else would…” then I would be happy.

This Sunday I continue our Christmas sermon series, The Gifts of Christmas. I will be talking about finding and giving joy at Christmas. From the story of Mary and Elizabeth I will talk about “Give the Gift of Joy” from Luke 1:39-55. I will be sharing four actions Mary took to find and give joy. I will be preaching from my first Bible given to me by my parents 50 years ago this Christmas.

Join us this Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.

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