A Melancholy Christmas

P1380199In those days, there were shepherds watching their flocks at night.
When all at once they heard a voice from an angle in shimmering light:
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy.
The Savior of the world has come and now lies in the manger as a baby boy.” 

And thus began the immortal Christmas story that we all love to hear.
It’s the happiest season of all and the most wonderful time of the year.
It is the time of love and of peace, when people are of good cheer.
It’s a time for joyful celebrations and gift giving with all those we hold dear.

And yet this time of happiness is often tinged with a measure of sadness.
In the midst of all the cheerful merriment, there’s a sense of emptiness.
Through all the merry-making, we miss those we love who are absent,
Gone to faraway places or the great beyond. How we wish they were present.

The first Christmas story happened in a simple and humble manger.
And in our celebrations today, the child Jesus often to us is a stranger.
We sing of love and peace this Christmas, yet in our hearts we often harbor
The very things that we hate and that’s why we long for the Savior.

We wish the joy, the love and peace of Christmas to last all through the year.
But we only know too well that all too soon they’re gone and disappear.
“He came to what was his own, but his own received him not.”
How we wish we could always receive him and do what we ought.

And so before the glow of Christmas cheer totally fades away,
I sit and muse why there is always a tinge of sadness on Christmas day.
Through the joys and the feasting, there are people we miss,
Those we would have dearly loved to see and hug and kiss.

Then there is the sense that we have forgotten what this day is all about.
Today we live with love and peace and tomorrow we throw them out.
And perhaps the biggest reason for the melancholy we are feeling:
The Savior has come but we haven’t stopped all our wheeling and dealing.

I savor the joys and cheers that Christmas brings.
All the gifts and the wishes and the wonderful things.
But I also recognize the melancholy that’s in my heart.
The Lord has come and now i have to do my part.

Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:8-14

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