Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Saddest Time of the Year

Christmas is the saddest time of the year. It comes just as we have slipped in the winter, as season we will be trapped in for three more months. As if that isn’t enough, we have slow, melancholy Christmas music to make us contemplate our innermost thoughts and emotions, emotions that should not be brought to the surface. Sadness comes to the surfaces as we remember Christmases past, Christmases that we anticipated with excitement only to be reminded that things are not as picture perfect as they appear in the movies. Who cannot remember a Christmas when the gifts under the tree were a disappointment? What of that poor kid whose parents have been telling him that Santa is real and then when he waits up until midnight for Santa to arrive he finds that Santa is not a jolly old elf, but dear old Dad. Christmas should be a time of joy as we are reminded that God saw fit to send his son Jesus to pay our sin debt, but instead people insist on racking up another kind of debt on their credit cards.

For some reason, an empty house never seems quite as empty as it does around Christmas time. Maybe it has nothing to do with Christmas at all. Maybe it has more to do with the fact that the days are so short and we spend so much more time inside. Anyway, I prefer Easter, when the spring flowers are leaping to praise God in the only way they know how, when the songs we sing are triumphant because Jesus was dead and is alive so that we can live forevermore.