Christmas Is For The Mourning, Not Just The Merry

{Day 6 of Everyday Ministry: Instead of trying to fix someone’s heartbreak, mourn with them. Accept that while you can come alongside someone who is hurting, only Christ can truly heal their pain. And that is why Christmas is for the mourning.  To follow along with the rest of this Everyday Ministry series, join me on my Facebook page. Photo by Paulo Fantini.}

{Day 6 of Everyday Ministry: Instead of trying to fix someone’s heartbreak, mourn with them. Accept that while you can come alongside someone who is hurting, only Christ can truly heal their pain. And that is why Christmas is for the mourning. 

To follow along with the rest of this Everyday Ministry series, join me on my Facebook page. Photo by Paulo Fantini.}

It can be difficult to feel like Christmas is for everyone. The greeting, “Merry Christmas” includes the word merry after all.

So is this holiday for anyone besides those who appear as such? Is it only for the ones who bake merry things and take merry photos in front of freshly cut Christmas trees, and smile up at you in merrily matching clothes from their Merry Christmas cards? The ones who look, sound, and seem merry and bright in the literal sense?

I have thought a few times, “Christmas isn’t really for us this year.”

Almost once per week I ask Husband if he’s ready to quit his inner-city teaching job. Almost once per week in this marathon month of Threenager rebelling and Baby teething I ask myself, “Am I really cut out for this whole Mom Thing?” Almost once per week I remember exactly why I chose the word overwhelmed as my theme for 2016.

We feel a little bruised and beat up as we come to the end of this year, insanely exhausted too. And I don’t think we are the only ones either. Among all the merry on my newsfeed and in my mailbox, I see plenty of heartbreak too: cancer, grief, pain, anxiety, depression.

Is Christmas really for us too? The ones who don’t feel all that merry? 

Our three-year-old has reached the age of learning and remembering things. When she sees green wreaths wrapped in Christmas lights lining the streets she yells, “Hey Mommy, look! It’s Christmas!”

Even she recognizes the merry we traditionally try to wrap around Christmas.

“And what do we celebrate at Christmas?” I ask her.

“Jesus came to earf as a baby,” she recites back to me. “And do you know what His name is, Jesus’ daddy? His name is Collin!” {We’re still working on that one.}

Yes, Christ came to earth as a baby. But is that for me too?

Am I welcome to celebrate? The exhausted, slightly beaten down, depressed one who misses the years she felt all “Christmassy” in her heart this time of year?

“When there are no words, there is Emmanuel,” a dear friend told me on a dark day two years ago. 

Emmanuel, God with us.

Christmas is not just an invitation to the broken hearted, beat down, depressed, and mourning to join in the fun that all the merry folk are having. Christmas is for them. Christmas is for those who mourn, who recognize their neediness. It is for those who see and say, “I am broken, and I am hurting, and I am a sinner. Save me.”

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. {Jeremiah 17:14}

Christ's birth is the beginning of the life of a man and God whose entire purpose on this earth was to live, die, and rise up from death in order to save those who believe. Christ’s birth is the reminder that our hearts won’t always feel this way; our minds won’t always be broken. It’s the gift that someday we will be made whole, we will be fully satisfied, and we will live in perfect fellowship with our loving Father.

Christ birth is for those who realize that hope isn’t a feeling; it is the act of believing.

And so in this season, we wait. And while we wait, we often hurt. But while we hurt, we always hope. 

God is with us. “The weary world rejoices.”

 

Grace and Peace,
Kendra