Why does Christmas instill warmth in our hearts? Why are we so eager, especially this year, to dive into Advent and the Christmas season? Listening to Christmas music, putting up our trees, and decorating our houses has become almost a needed remedy for our current state of despair.
It’s no secret that Christmas is commercialized, but this desire to begin celebrating Christmas has nothing to do with commercialism, at least not from the perspective of the average person. 2020 has been a deeply dark year. Regardless of how it’s affected you, it’s been a year of suffering, sacrifice, and loss. And people are tired of it. People are desperate for a distraction. But most of all, people are desperate for joy and hope. And Christmas brings both.
Every Advent we prepare for and every Christmas we celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth in the most beautiful and humble way. And with His coming, we are reminded of the hope that Christ’s coming brings. It is so important and necessary for each of us to embrace joy and hope in these confusing and terribly dark times. Christ is joy and hope. “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
But while we’re quick to accept the joy and hope that Christmas offers, this year has made it difficult for some who are just not feeling the desire to give what we expect to get from this season. That’s understandable. However, as followers of Jesus Christ, it is our duty to know, love, and serve the Lord and to live as He lived. And so, we too can intentionally spread hope and joy, making gifts to God, even when we don't "feel it." We can instill joy and hope into the hearts of those who meet us each day. It can be as simple as offering a smile, a kind deed, or a joyful greeting of “Merry Christmas.” But it can be more too. Just as God has given us the gift of His Son, He has given us personal gifts of talent which we can use to spread hope and joy.
As an author sharing God’s word through fiction, I believe I can use my writing to share joy and hope. Regardless of what our talent is, God has gifted it to us so that we can use it to share His story of love and mercy as a gift for others. And that in turn offers joy and hope.
It's really all about perspective. If our focus is on the world, it can lead to depression and hopelessness. The darkness of this sinful world can consume us and push us into a pit of sadness. But if we turn our eyes to Jesus, we can hold onto joy and hope! This world needs more joy and hope. As Children of God, protected and strengthened by the Armor of God, possessing the gift of God’s talent, we can be the light all year round that Advent prepares us for and Christmas brings. We are His Children of light, after-all, so it is our duty.
The authors at Catholic Teen Books have been gifted with the talent of writing beautiful stories that share an amazing Truth. Jesus is the gift of God, the proof that He loves us. We’ve used God’s gifts so that you, in turn, can give our stories as gifts of joy and hope to others.
May God bless you this Advent and Christmas season, and may you always be filled with joy and hope, sharing it with others, so that the world can one day be consumed by the light of our Lord Jesus Christ.