I love Christmas music. Always have. I know lots of people hate it and believe it starts too early, but I can’t start it fast enough. The day after Thanksgiving Christmas music will play on my phone, in my car, and throughout my house. We have over 400 songs downloaded and still manage to also play, the Messiah and The Nutcracker. I take the time to listen to the words very carefully, and each season a different song resonates with me. Even with this year’s hubbub about Baby, It’s Cold Outside; I don’t care. It is a flirtatious song and I choose to hear it as cute. Most Christmas songs are about love actually. Even the slow and sad ones reflect love in some form. They also carry a message of forgiveness.
Forgiveness and Christmas are kind of all wrapped up in one for me. I came to faith through a very non-traditional path so forgive me if I am a bit out of the box on this. I think a lot about these things though. A common theme one must address when considering to forgive is how hard it can be. Integrated into endless ministries and positive messages, we know we need to forgive, and in life, there really is no escaping someone hurting us. So the question, to forgive or not. What can be forgiven? Who is worthy? How much time should pass before we forgive? What actions are not worthy of forgiveness, ever? Does forgiving mean we still have a relationship with this person? It’s complicated – yet simple.
I said I came to faith through a non-traditional path, I was nothing actually – not even atheist until my life was so complicated that I needed something bigger than me to take over. Desperately! That is the short version. If someone had come to me and preached about Jesus though, I would have RUN! But, here I am baptized in my 30’s and praying for Jesus to take the wheel.
Jesus is the ultimate message in forgiveness.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. “
He emphasizes forgiving others; He forgave those who sinned against Him, He preached a radical ministry of love. He hung out with sinners, He shamed no one and He had compassion for those who denied Him, and turned against Him. There are so many levels of this that I fail. For one I can hold a grudge pretty nicely. This year, however, I am entering the Christmas season with a heavy heart and a year of hurt. So I am back to thinking hard about letting go and moving on, the message of Christmas and the example of Jesus.
My conclusion about forgiveness is:
1. It comes from within.
2. It is a daily choice until the day when you don’t realize you are even choosing.
3. It is for us, not for anyone else.
4. It separates us from the pain and gives us peace when forces are trying to take away our peace.
5. It is worth it.
This Christmas, make forgiveness a part of your gift giving. You deserve it.
“Sun and rain, Life and change, But through it all Love remains.” Into the Silent Night, for King & Country
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