To those spending Christmas alone
In the season of glad tidings and great joy, it can feel like there’s too much room in the inn. Pictures of grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, kids and grand kids surrounded by feast-laden tables and ornament-laden trees mock the loneliness. Maybe your tree isn’t Charlie Brown bare, but you’ve got plenty of vacancy in your heart, that gaping space. The empty seats around the dinner table mirror the empty places in your soul. If you’re spending Christmas alone because of death, discord, distance or life’s never-ending demands think of it as invitation – an invitation for you and an invitation from you.
‘Tis the season
What if those empty seats and that empty heart of yours are just opportunities waiting to be filled with the true spirit of Christmas? Life’s full of opportunities, yeah, opportunities for joy….I guess.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 (NLT)It can feel like there's too much room in the inn #loneliness #Christmas Click To Tweet
When holidays are hard
Last Christmas brought me the gift of an invitation. Not that I was alone, my parents were there. Yep, me, my mom and my dad. The prospect was pretty quiet and a bit dreadful. My parents are great, but this isn’t the way life is supposed to be and it certainly contrasts with my Christmas past. Years ago my grandparent’s house was filled with excitement as we waded out of the heap of presents knee deep in wrapping paper. As the Decembers roll by, sometimes
Christmas life is hard.
The prospect of empty chairs at the dining room table made me wish the whole day away. At least Christmas fell on Sunday so I went to church. Surrounded by Christmas present, a mother in the pew behind shushed squirming toddlers in matching red smocking. Beside me was one of “those” families. You know, three generations all present and accounted for; I’m not bitter, but that’s the way I envisioned my own Christmas future. All around, the seats were packed, except for the little gap beside the widow woman. Not the gray-haired kind with a lap full of grand kids, no the young widow whose kids live far away.
Turn grieving to giving
The empty space in my own life gave me an unobstructed view of Christmas loneliness. A few persuasive words later, she accepted the invitation to fill a chair at my table. Her need met my need and we were both glad. It really is better to give than to receive because giving is getting. This year turn your grieving to giving because that’s the true spirit of Christmas.Turn Christmas grieving into Christmas giving #grief #loneliness Click To Tweet
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
Room in the inn
When your pew is lonely and your house is empty, you’re ready for the invitation of Christmas. Offer your own spare space as a gift for those with too much room in their inn. Shared burdens are shared blessings when we allow our emptiness to fill the needs of others. That’s a gift that gives all year long.
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:16 (NLT)
Come Lord Jesus
Vacancy beckons the weary traveler to come. Come bring your emptiness and come fill mine. Jesus beckons us to come, like He comes to fill us with the hope of the season so we can share comfort and joy. And there’s always room for that. So come for Christmas.
“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (HCSB)
If you’re looking for encouragement for the new year, visit my friend Lyli Dunbar