December rolled in this week and with it, the beginnings of Christmas. The first Sunday of advent came and went, a candle was lighted, and the kids in sunday school started practicing their Christmas Carols. I got ingredients for the shortbread and snowballs and other goodies that I like to make and worked hard all week with rehearsals for my next play, A Christmas Carol, coming up in just ten days. Forgetting the 25th and all it stands for was not a possibility this time.
However, I found the Christmas cheer a bit harder. It isn’t painful this time. I’m not sad or grieving like I was last year. It’s not that, yet I usually don’t feel like the happy person that most people make me out to be every single second of the time. I haven’t felt sad per se–just tired, lonely, confused, and restless. I often just feel like saying, “Bah! Humbug!” to it all, as Scrooge would.
Today, it was all pounding on me. I wanted to wake up at 7:00 but I slept in until 8:30 instead. I felt like writing but the words wouldn’t come. At a show promotional, I almost felt like I would fall asleep while singing Christmas Carols. When I came home and tried to do something productive, I only lazily watched my favourite episodes of The Waltons. And I struggled with odd feelings and sinfulness and desire for things for ahead in my future and again I said “Humbug.”
But just like Scrooge, my heart was changed.
I marched in a parade tonight, for Christmas, that very event that seemed to start it all. My feet were frozen even in their ski socks, and I looked like I had an outdated fashion sense in my Dickens costume but suddenly, I didn’t care. I saw people I knew and I waved to them, the music played as we walked along and I sang it loudly. I looked around me at my other cast members and I felt joyful. My friend beside me smiled harder than she has in a while and proclaimed that she was happy. There was no humbug in that moment.
God rest ye merry gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay. Remember Christ your Saviour was born on Christmas day. To save us all from Satan’s power when we have gone astray. Oh, tidings of comfort and joy. Comfort and joy! Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!
The singing did not leave my lips as easily as it normally does. Tonight, the words resonated with me and I heard this old song in a new way. It was telling me to rest, for Jesus Christ had been born, to save me from Satan’s power. Oh, comfort and joy indeed! No more humbug for me!
I’ll be the first to admit that life is hard and sometimes I really do get tired of living. I don’t pretend that joy comes easily to me because it doesn’t–that is, without Jesus. But with Him, joy is true, it is real, and so very comforting.
So may God rest you, this holiday season and always. No more humbug! Jesus was born to save us!