What I need for Christmas

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Mariah Carey sung:

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you

Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Ellis Williams / Robert Allen / Ralf Huetter / John Robie / Emil Schult / Arthur Baker / Aasim Bey Bambaataa / Walter N Afanasieff
All I Want For Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!) lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Sony/atv Tunes Llc, Universal Music Corp., Beyondidolization, Tamal Vista Music, Kling Klang Musik Gmbh, Hipgnosis Sfh I Limited

It’s meant to be about love and romance but to be honest sounds just like an old kids rhyme about “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” What do we actually need for or at Christmas?

At this time of year, you will hopefully see quite a few social media messages encouraging you to look out for those for whom Christmas will be hard, those suffering recent bereavement, struggling with depression and anxiety, facing financial hardship or experiencing severe loneliness.  ~I hope that we are looking out for each other.

A couple of messages reminded us that if we are pastors and preachers to remember that there are people struggling and if they don’t get into the Christmas spirit they should not be portrayed as scrooges. This is 100% right. 

Well, three years ago, just as we were moving towards Advent, I was hit by a severe bout of depression.  This year we’ve been hit with a double bereavement. Having encouraged people to look out for those facing their first Christmas without loved ones, we find ourselves being “that family.”  Sarah’s dad died on the 12th November and then a few weeks later, my mum on the 2nd December.

So, I’m thinking about what I need for/from/at Christmas in the hope that it will help us to think about the needs of others in similar situations. What I would say is this.  I don’t need you to tip toe around me this Christmas. I don’t need you to feel awkward about being joyful and happy.  Rather, I need you and the church to fully enter into the joy of this season.  Oh, and I need to be fully part of that, sharing in the celebration with the family of God’s people, not directed off to the “more reflective quieter carol service.”

What I need most is joy, not of course of the enforced joviality kind. I’m not quite ready to visit the pantomime this year, though that probably reflects my longer term tastes. However, I do need true, deep joy. This is the joy that arises out of the coming of good news. It’s joy that is exactly designed to give hope and comfort to those who are suffering and struggling.  The joy of Christmas is specifically designed not so that comfortable people can have a bit more fun but so that those in the deepest and darkest winter of a fallen world with all of the grief and pain that arises from that can find light in the darkness, peace in the storm and joy that comes in the morning after a night of tears.

Can you give that to those who are suffering and grieving this Christmas?

%d bloggers like this: