Tonight I was thumbing through an issue of Seattle's Child, a free, local magazine. The article Local Families Reflect on Holiday Giving Traditions stunned me. It broke my heart.
The reasons for holiday gift-giving didn't make any sense to me. The explanations left me with a sense of emptiness. None of the six families highlighted indicated Jesus' birth had anything to do with this season of celebration. Few used the term "Christmas" or "Christmastime." They wrote about "winter festivities," "winter solstice," an "evergreen wreath" that symbolized the "cycle of life and the constant change of the seasons." A young couple with a baby actually wrote, "We're making it up as we go along." Only one family mentioned anything about religion, indicating they "opted to celebrate [Hanukkah] in a cultural way" in addition to their winter solstice celebrations.
What is the point of all this gift-giving exactly, I wondered. Where is the hope or joy?
We had a recent death in the family. What a blessing to be able to tell Parker the truth with confidence. What relief to let him know Bobbi's children will see her again in heaven. I wondered what the young couple in the article will tell their baby about the "cycle of life" when someone she loves dies. I wondered what they tell themselves. I just wanted to cry.
How do you reach people when the lies are so pervasive? How do you protect your own children from these lies? I thought, "Lord, get me out of this foreign land [Seattle]!"
He said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:14
Do not be afraid, Jessie. This is good news you can share with all people.
Christ is born!