The Most Wonderful Time
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or so the song lyrics of the same title go. However, though, in the fullness of time, I wonder if that is indeed true of some others’ experience of this season. Is it really all the time all that wonderful for all?
I had a conversation some time ago with a friend whose family has had many experiences of grief and loss over the years. In sharing with each other about some of our common, similarly emotional moments of remembering loved ones who have passed on to eternity, they made mention of sometimes having mixed feelings about holiday, anniversary and/or birthday celebrations.
There seems to be for some a bittersweet sense of joy and manifest pain of loss present at the same time that characterizes such celebrated life events. Questions unanswered, even such unspoken thoughts rise to the surface of our conscious being. Where might we be now, if not for…? What might this Christmastime be or have been like if they were still here with us today?
One person offered that, in their experience, not necessarily the first, but the second or third subsequent holidays, birthdays or anniversaries become particularly difficult over time. And yet, life truly does and has to go on, doesn’t it? There is, as the hymn that ascribes of God’s steadfast loving-kindness goes, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Because of the Lord’s great compassion, we are not consumed. We, above it all, experience mercies renewing every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us of God’s great faithfulness unto us amidst the challenges in and through which the Lord identifies with us.
One colleague in ministry says that during times when we may find ourselves at a low point emotionally or otherwise, s/he finds it helpful to give oneself to and for others. Whether it is unto those in need or not, the act of giving in the service of others for their greater blessing actually lifts up our own spirits for our betterment as well.
In and through the wonder of it all, we experience God’s grace for us and for our loved ones both living and also on the other side of eternity. In this case, I do resonate with certain themes in the romanticism of the tune.
It is the most wonderful time of year. It is a time of year filled to the full, with wonder and awe at the God of wonders who came to be born unto us in awfully humble surroundings. That is certainly worth celebrating most wonderfully, even throughout the whole year.
May this holiday season be for you and yours entirely filled with joyfully fulfilling holy days of yuletide reverence to the glory of the Holy One of Bethlehem. Blessings at Christmastide for the New Year to come!
In the Spirit of the King,