Since our society so regularly confuses Christmas with the superficial, it is no wonder many people decide to opt-out when life is hard, but this misses the point of Christmas altogether. The arrival of Jesus into our world is the answer to a world lost in darkness.
This Christmas will be difficult for many people. Not only will we have to deal with COVID restrictions, but many have lost jobs, businesses, homes, have had relationships severed, and, most grievous, have lost loved ones. I have heard many people say—when times are tough—they choose not to celebrate. How can they get into holiday cheer and colorful lights when their world is dark and dreary?
In times of pain, lyrics like “Oh by gosh, by golly,” are not only empty, but they can also be salt in the wound. When every fiber of our being is crying out in grief, sentimentality loses its charm. Charles Spurgeon once said, “When you are in good health, any form of religion may satisfy, but a dying soul wants more than sand to rest upon. You will want the rock of ages.” We can also apply his thought to the celebration of Christmas. When times are good, any triviality will do, but frivolity offers us nothing in times of pain.