On Monday I shared a few thoughts about fear and the role it played in the Christmas story. It’s appropriate that the Christmas story started with challenges and fears because that’s often how it goes in our lives. We face challenges on a daily basis and have to choose our response, usually fear, joy, panic or hope, just like they chose their responses back in the Christmas story. We often start with one emotional response to the event and end with another, which is good news for us. It means that even if your initial response was fear, like many of those in the Christmas story, there’s hope for your story to end on a high note too. Today, with Christmas just a few hours away I want to go back to our topic for the month, joy.
The Christmas story is one that just like any story has highs and lows, moments of panic and tears of joy. It’s a story we can get immersed in, and many of us can imagine ourselves as the main characters. The Christmas story, like our lives, is a story of transformation. Where the story begins is almost never where the story ends. It’s an important lesson for us to learn in our lives, and one that gives many of us hope that our pasts don’t have to crush our futures.
As you gather with family and friends over the next few days I encourage you to open your heart and mind to joy and the possibility of transformation. No, everyone isn’t willing to transform and do the work and face the hardships that often come along with the transformations that many went through in the Christmas story, but I never give up hope that people can see the light of living life in a way that isn’t about crushing anyone and everyone in their path but rather living life in a way that lifts each other up and gives hope to those struggling to get from fear and pain to joy. Merry Christmas.