Christmas Is A Birthday

December 10, 2017
by Mary Daniel

1 Corinthians 15:49,51 – And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. (KJV)

We celebrate our birthdays in many ways: we send cards, decorate our homes, give presents, and have parties.

Christmas is a birthday — Christ's birthday — and by far, celebrated in the most varied ways and by the most diverse groups of people. Most of us decorate our homes, trim a tree, put up lights, bake delicious goodies, give gifts, have festive times with family and friends, donate to food banks and toy drives, and volunteer with or for the homeless.

But wait.

There are those for whom Christmas is a sad time — not one of a celebratory birth. They've lost a loved one, or even a pet, and feel their loss most deeply at this time. Their memories of Christmases together are too painful for them to get through a Christmas alone.

While people around them are happily shopping, smiling, and wishing them "Merry Christmas", they're silently looking forward to the days after Christmas.

Churches, hospices, funeral homes, and other organizations hold special remembrance ceremonies as an opportunity to share with others and honour their grief. Such services may not be for everyone, but they are offered for the benefit of those for whom they are helpful.

Many have shared with me their deep sense of loss at Christmas, and while I cannot know how they feel, I do know the feeling of a first Christmas without a loved one, as well as that of an unexpected passing on a Christmas morning: that of my mum, 25 years ago. Christmas was her favourite time of year. It was from her that I learned the love of giving rather than receiving. It was from her that I learned, very early in my life, the value of volunteering. It was she who gave us our earliest teachings of Jesus. She loved life and her music, and she was the church organist who led us in the choir.

It was because of her deep faith, her love of life, and her passing on her favourite day of the year, the most peaceful day on earth, that I made the choice to celebrate her passing as a gift, as a release from her illness, as a new birth, instead of dreading Christmas morning as a sad remembrance for the rest of my life.

Every passing is unique in its own circumstances and unique to each person affected by it. All persons, especially those who are young, have to be allowed to grieve their loss and be given all the time that they need to work their way through it, with the hope that they will reach a time when they can once again enjoy celebrations, especially the celebration of Christ's birthday.

If in reading this, you know of someone for whom this Christmas is going to be a tough one, gently let them know that you're there for them. Don't be upset if they cancel a plan at the last minute. Offer your help, but don't be put off if they decline. Allow them to get through it in their own way and in their own time. This will be the greatest gift that you can give them.

Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (NIV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that those who are grieving during this special time of year will feel Your presence more than ever. May they know that You are with them, guiding them through their grief, into a time when they can once again enjoy birthday celebrations, especially the birthday of Your Son, Jesus. In His name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    This is a lovely devotional Mary. Thanks for sharing!


    I enjoyed your thoughts.
    (B.C.)


    Good word Mary.
    Blessings.


    Thanks for remembering those that Christmas only brings sad memories.
    Merry Christmas.


    As Christmas approaches, may you feel Christ’s hugs. Thanks for sharing this touching devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank You, Mary. Your message today will surely be a blessing to many this Christmas. I prayed your prayer for a dear friend of mine who lost her husband to cancer this past summer. Blessings to you and those you love.


    Mary
    So good to see you on board – with words that reach out to us all, especially as we come to a time of celebration. Even if we are deep in sorrow we know God is with us to lift us up, in time!


    This beautiful reflection brought tears to my eyes and thoughts of my own mother.
    I am blessed in many, many ways and for many years I spent Christmas with as wonderful, dear friend. I do not have much family and this took the place of all that.


    Loved your devotion this morning Mary! You are so “right on”!
    Blessings to you and may you continue to show God’s love to others in your writing and actions. Merry Christmas!
    (Ont)


    Good Sunday morning Mary! Thank you for your devotional this morning especially this paragraph, “Every passing is unique in its own circumstances and unique to each person affected by it. All persons, especially those who are young, have to be allowed to grieve their loss and be given all the time that they need to work their way through it, with the hope that they will reach a time when they can once again enjoy celebrations, especially the celebration of Christ’s birthday” and your closing Prayer.
    Thank you!


    Greetings Mary,
    Thanks kindly for this morning’s devotional. How difficult it must have been for you having your Mom pass away at Christmas. My Mom passed away when I was 13 yrs old and I still remember so well that first Christmas without her as she too, loved that special time of year, doing loads of baking and gift giving for us and for others. We truly can honour our Lord by being especially aware of what others may be going thru and reach out to them with caring thoughts and hearts.
    Blessings and peace to you,
    (B.C.)


    Very appropriate words, Mary. Have a Merry Christmas.


    Mary – Thank you for this heartfelt devotional.
    It is so good to have heard from you.
    May God’s blessings be upon you.


    Thank you for your wise words. I lost my only sister this year and the “season” has had its challenges already. Dec 25 is my husband’s birthday so our day will focus on birth and life and love. But the empty chair casts a big shadow. Keep up the good writing.


    Dear Mary,
    What a touching devotional and beautiful tribute to your mom.
    Christmas blessings to you and yours.


    Dear Mary:
    Thank you.
    Your meditations are among the best!
    Merry Christmas

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