Christmas colors are red and green. Yet why is it that this time of years causes The Blues?
The Blues; despair, longingness, unmet expectations, fear of hoping for something that Santa doesn’t deliver…The Blues. Christmas time, the Holidays, all the schmaltzy Hallmark movies, the expectations of romance and family harmony are rolled into one big Madison Avenue advertisement for happiness…yet, as a wise man once said, “If I’m so happy, why ain’t I smilin’?”
Perhaps we are not smiling is because we have our signals crossed. Could it be that we are tuned into a Christmas that thrives on expectations, gifts, and the occasional nod at Jesus, you know, just to be on the spiritually safe side? If that is the case, we need to turn the channel of our hearts toward the real peace and emotional freedom that comes when we dial into the real Jesus.
A real Jesus came into the world. A real baby was born that became the promised Messiah. A real baby grew into a man who was tempted and survived without sinning. A real Jesus who claimed to be God and able to forgive sins. A real Jesus who healed the sick, expressed kindness to all who asked. A real Jesus whose love has the power to restore dignity, hope and balance to anyone who accepts his gift of grace.
This authentic person, this Jesus, came to live the life we should have lived, die the death we should have died and paid the debt of sin to God that we should have paid. He did all these things so that we can accept his free gift of grace, salvation, and be free of our feelings of inadequacy. We can find freedom from the crippling fear of not measuring up to the religious standards imposed by legalistic minds. Standards that say that you must reach a certain level of perfection and goodness…and then God will love and accept you. Jesus came to abolish that kind of religion.
His grace is a close as your willingness to ask Jesus for it. His grace will free you of The Blues, because his love and grace are more valuable and never changing than anything you expect or want to receive at Christmas. When you say YES to Jesus and celebrate his birth in a new way, shabbat shalom washes over you. A peace born of the fact that Jesus is who he says he is.
Consider this: If what Jesus claimed about himself if not true, then he does not matter. But if his claims are true…then nothing else matters!