8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Something that has been on my mind quite a lot recently is that the Christmas season is a time of great extremes. For many, this is a time where people gather with family and friends more often, become more generous and celebrate more with and for each other. While this is certainly true, so is the other extreme. For many others, this is a time when loneliness, loss, hurt and sorrow are felt even stronger.
When I think of my own life, the joy of watching my kids during the Christmas season is wonderful. They want to bake cookies for family and friends, buy presents for each other and plan games and activities that celebrate Christmas. On top of all that, the sight of seeing my girls open presents on Christmas morning is priceless. While those thoughts and images bring great joy, I also have to think about how this year will be the fifteenth Christmas since my mom passed away, and that brings great sadness to my heart.
That Christmas is a season of extremes for many is certainly something to have in our minds and hearts this season. In those extremes, the real question for me is, ‘Am I contributing to the joy, peace and hope of Christmas or am I contributing to the hurt and sorrow this Christmas?’
My prayer for each one of us is that during this season, we would be the ones that would “bring good news that will cause great joy for all the people” and contribute even more joy, peace and hope of those around us amidst the sorrow and loss felt by so many.
Territorial Music Secretary