What’s filling your Christmas?

Maybe you feel your Christmas is too full of activities or expectations after a scaled-down Christmas last year, or too full of questions about celebrating in the shadow of continued uncertainty. Or perhaps your holiday is not full enough, because you are waiting for an invitation to join friends or family. Whatever the case, don’t we mostly need Christmas to be full of joy, full of the “on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14) that was present at the birth of Christ Jesus? Without the grace that accompanies Christ, we aren’t really celebrating Christmas, and may be left feeling empty. 

When I was a college student traveling abroad, I spent Christmas in a small city in the Andes. Christmas Day without family and familiar celebrations was lonely. As I walked the streets, I sang a hymn titled “Christmas Morn” to keep myself company. It’s about the birth of Jesus, and about the eternal Christ he embodied. The hymn is a setting of a poem by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science. This heartfelt petition at the end of the poem became my prayer: 

Fill us today
With all thou art—be thou our saint,
Our stay, alway.
(Poems, p. 29)

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December 13, 2021

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