Monday, December 9, 2013

God, Just Get Me Through Christmas

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand.
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in His hand:
Christ our God to earth descending,
our full homage to demand.”
“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”
from the Liturgy of St. James
Jerusalem, ca. 1st century

* * *

Did you groan when you saw the Christmas trees in Walmart? September? How about when you saw the first snow? Ugh... We can almost hear the whole world groan when winter starts. It feels stiff and hollow under its new frost, like it’s holding its breath, waiting to be released from the bondage of ice and brightly lit Christmas cheer. But maybe it's not the snow or the several months of Christmas music that gets us down. Maybe it's the prospect of another Christmas season altogether that we can't stand. Just another reminder of how alone we are, how unhappy we are, how happy everyone else is, how sick we are, how much we hurt, how much Christmas hasn't been the same since we got hurt, since our wife died or our mom, since we've been suffering from chronic pain, since...

So the penitential season of Advent begins. And no, we're not celebrating, despite whatever show the world puts on. What the world generally refers to as the “Christmas Season” is actually the season of Advent. During Advent, we—like our winter-bound world—are asked to hold our breath in hopeful expectation. We let our mortal flesh: the pain and desires for things and family alike, keep silence and go to church a little more often to prepare for the fulfillment of the promise of redemption: the advent, or the coming, of the Christ.

Our ice is sin. It's the cause of our loneliness and unhappiness, our ailments and our injuries, of all the bad things we do, feel, and think, and of all the bad things that are done to us. Our spring began on that very first Christmas Day with the birth of the Son of God, a perfect sacrifice sent in the form of a poor, infant boy who would die for a world frozen in sin. And while we prepare to celebrate His first advent, we are also preparing for His second advent when He will return to set all things right.

Advent is not a happy time, so don't expect happiness. But it is a hopeful time. So hope. He's coming back for you, and in the meantime, God will help you through the world's Christmas Season. 

Bookmark "God, Just Get Me through Christmas" on When Suffering Doesn't Stop this holiday season for help getting through Christmas one day at a time. Make a path to a meaningful, if not merry, Christmas.

"Prepare the way of the LORDmake His paths straight." Matthew 3:3b


  1. Hi, I wanted to thank you for your words and your openness. I stumbled upon your blog while searching YouTube for Christmas music. I wouldn't normally be posting on a stranger's blog, :) but what I've read resonates with my own particular story. I also have ulcerative colitis, and I had my entire colon removed as a teenager in 2002. I daily struggle with the up/down aspect of health and subsequent emotions. It's a tough thing to be open about, so I applaud you for maintaining your blog!
    I especially appreciate your most recent post. Everyone is a broken person due to sin being introduced to the world, and we all carry our hurts within us - some more obvious than others. It's common for the "joyful" season of Christmas to be marred by personal tragedy in our lives, and it's easy to be depressed by our burdens as they are juxtaposed against the idealized social happiness of the Christmas season. But you are right, it's not about forcing ourselves to be happy - though we do find joy in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came into the world to offer us hope of redemption and reconciliation with God the Father. And that is definitely a good thing to meditate on to lift us out of the mess of ourselves.

    1. Thanks, Amanda. Very, very well said. And a very, very Merry Christmas!

  2. That's a beautiful piece of literature Ma'am. Just like the commentator above, I too stumbled across your page when I was listening to your post on youtube, 'Good Kind Wencelas'. Your words, choice of language and the deep sincerity with which you write is very unique. It is almost old fashioned and that is very rare these days, winter holding its breath was a wonderful imagery and your blog is simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with you and God bless and keep you ma'am!

  3. Thanks for posting the beautiful classic Christmas carols on YouTube. I hope you have a blessed, peaceful, and comfortable Christmas in 2014.