Birth and Death at Christmas

pink tree

Behold the extent of my Christmas preparations thus far… a tiny salt shaker holding a teeny tiny pink bottle brush tree. With glitter. The end. (and yes that is chicken wire in the background so you can fathom the scale I’m suggesting when I say tiny…)

…. between being down for the count with a cold? Sinus infection? Cough that wilt not let me go? there have just been other things on the horizon holding me back.

A very dear friend of our family passed on a few weeks ago right at the start of the holiday season and though he lived to a young old age of 91, it’s never an easy thing to reconcile. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us for we are all born to die. We live in time and time is finite and has a definite beginning and end as our preacher has been explaining… just look at our gray hairs and our aging bodies and we’ll catch a glimpse of our human destiny.

When we think of Christmas we focus on the birth. Because that’s what it’s really all about. What we minimize is the death part… Easter seems pretty far off in December and besides who wants to dwell on death anyway. Some years though death walks right up and slaps us in the face. In the middle of the Christmas season. The nerve.

But this is Christmas- the season of perpetual joy… {how many can name that movie…?} And it is.

And it isn’t.

Joy doesn’t just manifest itself only at Christmas. Joy’s not limited to one month out of the year just as God is not limited by time. He lives outside of it. He is infinite. He is eternal and he made a way to be with him forever even when our physical bodies finally give in and give up. It’s through death that we have life with our creator. Some of the verses we read at our friend’s funeral spoke to the truth that God conquered the last thing standing in His way- death. And he did it with life. With the birth of a son, a savior destined to die but ultimately to be raised to live forever. And hallelujah, we get to be in on that too if we believe.

I won’t lie, I can reason and write these comforts out here, but I’m still liable to sit and shake my fist and mumble under my breath how much it stinks when I see our friend’s wife sitting alone through Sunday service. And when she has to leave half-way through because the hymns threaten to undo her right there in the middle of the poinsettias and twinkling lights, well it’s hard to muster much spirit to be merry and bright and stomach allllll the Christmas carols on every radio station… allll the day long. Thank goodness for Pandora….

BUT it’s ok to grieve- even at Christmas. It’s ok to be happy. It’s ok to mourn and it’s ok to just muddle through. Small tree, big tree or no tree. There is a happy ending coming. Joy really is inevitable.

So if you’re stuck, feeling down that Christmas hasn’t quite happened around you yet, raise your hand and repeat after me: My name is (*insert your own name here), it’s December 9th and I don’t have a tree up and I haven’t watched any Christmas movies and I am not in the mood quite yet to Jingle Bell Rock BUT it’s ok. If my tree stays unlit until the night before Christmas, so be it. I have permission to take it slow. There is no rush and no judgment here. God loves me and will help me through this season, no matter what I’m feeling. Joy is coming even in the midst of death and it’s what I want to be ready for the most. AMEN.

christmaschild-clipart-graphicsfairy007

image via The Graphics Fairy

Linking up with Miss Holley at:

12 thoughts on “Birth and Death at Christmas

  1. aly d. chase says:

    Yes. Dealing with death is about moments. I agree. It’s good to allow myself moments for grief to overtake me. And just as important to allow myself moments of joy without guilt. The good with the bad. That’s one of the Father’s gifts to keep us from breaking completely. I am sorry for your loss this holiday season, Heather. (Visiting from Holley’s link up) xo

    Like

  2. Pingback: Light it UP! |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s