Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holiday Aftermath -- a Kick in the Teeth

It’s a “down” time of year: that ebb between the hoopla of celebration and the impetus of New Year’s madness. We pause. We evaluate what has been and what will be. It is a somber time. Some people get depressed after the letdown of holiday’s end.

Stress has been building; expectations have not always been met, and we slide into that slump known as “Twixtmas.” Maybe we return gifts to recoup our losses. Perhaps we spend a little more to lift our spirits and take advantage of even lower prices only to regret it later.

But when all is said and done, we’re a little wiser, a little closer to the true meaning of Christmas. We’ve put up with crazy relatives and learned a thing or two about tolerance, forgiveness and understanding. Besides, buying something for someone else has enlarged our spirit and given meaning to our own self-centered lives.

But for some, tragedy strikes in the context of life and death. The turmoil of every day living takes its toll. Accidents happen. New babies are born as others are taken in the midst of our singing and merriment.

Such a tragedy struck my dear online friend; a Pastor whose beloved wife was taken from him as he held her in his arms on Christmas Eve. His faith is strong. He will prevail because life goes on.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35-39 KJV)

My own sadness pales in comparison. I’m sad the festivities are over, and that I’ll have to take down the holiday decorations. The ornaments will be boxed and put away, the house and my life will get back to normal, and all will be well again.

With the dawning of a new year on the horizon, we can only hope and pray that, indeed, there will be peace on earth. But as the song reminds us: “peace begins with me.” God Bless you, my friends, and may the new year bring you joy and happiness.