You may know that all holidays were not created equally. Even the name “holiday” has different meanings for people. In Europe, holiday means vacation. In the U.S., a holiday celebrates a person, an event, or a season, and people travel on some holidays more than on other ones. Most holidays tie to specific dates, but in order to help people to travel, some U.S. holiday dates were moved to a Monday. Intended to give one pause to reflect, to remember something or someone, and mostly to celebrate the reason for the holiday, the time itself has become the celebration for most people. They have forgotten or they never knew the meaning. Christmas eclipses every other holiday, and most people consider it the best and happiest of holidays. Yet, Christmas has become associated with heightened stress in millions of people.Christmas derives from the word “Christ.” The intent of the holiday: to honor the birth of Jesus, the Christ, foretold in the Bible. Jesus’ time on earth, and especially his sacrifice to God for the sin of mankind, shifted the paradigm of worship of the one God. People sacrificed their best animals to God, to show their recognition and worship of him. Jesus Christ, the son of God, was sacrificed by men who held power, men who created a mob of uninformed people who convinced a Roman Governor to crucify an innocent man.
So, what does this have to do with stress during the Christmas holiday? People who experience stress during the Christmas holiday speak of standing in long lines to buy holiday gifts at the shopping mall. They worry about the quality of the Christmas dinner that they will serve to family and friends. They suffer with anxiety when unsure of their invitation to a favorite Christmas party. They stay up all night to construct an elaborate toy fantasy for their children, and they fear that their children will not like their gifts. They cringe when they see the money they must pay for all of the gifts, food, travel, and parties that they stressed about during the holiday. Does this sound like a punishment? The Christmas holiday has a powerful meaning.Jesus, of God as well as man, preached God’s truth and love. He taught people about God, and his teachings have stood the test of time for mankind (find them in the New Testament of the Bible). He walked the earth more than 2,000 years ago, and would have been forgotten if he were only a prophet of things to come. You know the name today, even if you do not know him. Jesus bore your sin as a sacrifice. He blocks your sin from the eyes of his Father. You have stress because you don’t know him, have not believed who he was, and do not understand that he was God’s greatest gift to you. Believe, and God will not see your sin. He will see Jesus, his beloved son, sacrificed for you. Don’t experience the stress of standing before God to defend the actions of your soul, without Jesus.
Celebrate the Christmas holiday in the pagan ways if you wish. Indulge yourself and your children. But, light a candle to honor Jesus’ birth and say a prayer of thanks to the God who loved his child as much as you love your children. Be grateful to God for permitting his only son’s sacrifice for you. More than 2,000 years ago, God could have whisked Jesus away from harm, yet he chose to endure unbearable stress, for you.
Read what Jesus did and said in the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and other New Testament Books. Realize that you read his disciples’ recollection of their time with Jesus. Find God’s grace for you and for those you love by reading the word of God in the Christian Bible online at Bible Gateway: web: biblegateway .com/. Take a peek at an active Christian Church, listen to your heart, then find a house of God that will welcome you home: web: godeepcreek .com/home_dc.html This article was inspired by Kim.