Monday, December 7, 2015 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13 

In my few decades in this beautiful, chaotic, and always-changing world, I have come to realize that the celebration of Christmas is hard for many. As a child I was wowed by the lights, smells, sounds, gifts, parties, and the love. As an adult, I still am, but I also realize that as we age and life changes, we experience the holidays differently. We don’t have time to drive around and stare at Christmas lights, or don’t have anyone to do it with, or perhaps we can no longer drive. The trees and food still smell good and the sights are still magical, but we may live alone and don’t put up a tree or cook dinner because we have no one to share it with. Our hearts may hurt when we see families joining together for a huge dinner when we’re alone or struggling to afford food and have no extra money for a special Christmas meal. Parties are exciting, but this year there may be someone special who passed away and so is missing, and we feel we have been forgotten. This Christmas we may wake up alone. Perhaps anxiety or depression troubles us and being in a large group of people, even friends, is not mentally and physically possible. As a child we may have anticipated waking on Christmas morning to see what awaits us. However, now we may be mourning that we cannot give our children what they need, let alone what they want. Perhaps this year there is a situation which has divided our family and we feel that the Christmas magic is gone.

But, then there is love. Love is not static, love is a verb. It grows, it changes, and it looks different each day. The love we may or may not have felt past holiday seasons will look different each year. This year we may love someone new, we may no longer love someone we once thought we did, we may feel unloved, we may miss someone we love but lost. Yet, love is. It is in the world, of the world, through the world. Love is in me, in you, in relationships, in nature, but most importantly, God is love. Whether you wake up happy, sad, joyful, heartbroken, with family, or alone this Christmas, take time to thank God for God’s unfailing love. Thank God for the ultimate Christmas gift: his son Christ. Celebrate Christmas with God. And as you do, take time for those who struggle this holiday season: be there to support them, invite them, visit them, call them, send cards, pray for them and with them, but most of all, love them. Be open-minded and open-hearted to the struggles that we all face as life changes.

-Rachel Miller 

Prayer: Dear God: Let me be aware of your love and help me to pass your love to all those who are around me. Amen.