Living Life Between Sundays: Christmas with a Broken Heart

The Christmas season is upon us as Thanksgiving comes to a close and Advent begins. Yet, I find myself a bit out of sorts, facing Christmas once again without my husband.  The Christmas classic, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS comes to mind. Poor Charlie Brown is trying desperately to make sense of the season and discovers what it is through the wise monologue of his friend Linus. The recitation of the King James Version of Luke 2 concludes with, “And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Christmas is not about illustrious decorations, brightly wrapped gifts, or mouth-watering goodies. It’s about the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world. Unfortunately, the message gets lost in the secular race to December 25th. It also gets lost when facing the holidays with a grieving heart. Grief comes in many forms: loss of a job, loss of mobility or health, loss of a loved one, loss of a friendship. Whatever causes a heart to grieve, the Christmas season can be difficult. Engaging in the usual holiday parties, and hearing Christmas music around town, can be hard to handle.

So, where do we turn to face the holidays when the heart is broken? I turn to the Lord in prayer, asking for guidance through this season that, on most days, is less than jolly. I turn to others who have experienced loss and can walk this path with me. I turn once again to the ancient scriptures: Luke 2, Matthew 1, and John 1. In the words of the Gospel writers , I find eternal promises of salvation, light, and love through Jesus Christ.  I also listen to the music of the season that reminds me of what Christmas is really about.

In 1739 Charles Wesley wrote the words to a familiar Christmas song, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” It is the very song Charlie Brown and his friends sang around the miracle Christmas tree in the closing scene of the show.  Read again the familiar words and see the reminder of how, through Jesus, we sinners are reconciled.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!” 

Even amid sorrow and grief, Christmas is about how the Prince of Peace came to save us all. I pray you find joy in the promises of the Savior.  – Blessings in Christ, Pastor Jenny