Christmas is represented as a time of sweet memories and eager expectations. At least that is Hallmark’s idea and the theme of the never ending Happy Holidays commercial offerings. But if Christmas does not first represent the reality of lost souls in need of redemption, holiday memories can become an overwhelming emotional giant just as Goliath was to the anxious Israelites. The human experience apart from Christ is not one of happiness that can be sustained. Holiday memories can bring dark, heavy clouds and painful, bittersweet heartaches.
Christmases not focused on the redeeming, sacrificial life of Christ offer joy that cannot endure. Pleasant memories can be plagued by loss of loved ones or expectant dreams that became nightmares. Holiday memories that are not focused on Christ cannot bear the weight of our expectations. No white Christmas, no tree overflowing with presents can heal the wounds of the heart.
The angels of heaven rejoiced not at the gifts of the wise men. They rejoiced at the peace that the life and death of the baby in the barn would bring to God’s people. Broken man would finally be made whole. Memories, presents, holiday celebrations do not heal brokenness unless the true meaning of Christmas is humbly grasped.
Many tremble in fear of the holidays just like the Israelites did before Goliath. He was a monster of a man, a killing machine. They had no idea how to defeat him. He mocked their God and they doubted. The Army of Saul was stressed and full of dread. Goliath was too much for them. Perhaps you struggle in a similar way with the giants of Christmases past. Lost loved ones, broken relationships, painful memories of what was can be like Goliath, they are too much to bear.
But your personal Goliaths can be defeated just as David won victory over the historical Goliath. David focused on the saving grace of his God. No enemy, no giant can stand against the loving hand of God. Only Christ can bring wholeness and resolution to all that was lost and broken.
Jesus came to make whole a world that was crumbling. Without the hope of Christ, human relationships and life on this planet would not survive. Indeed the Psalms and the book of Romans teach us that the creation itself was groaning in anticipation of the Advent of Christ.
Christmas celebrations without the reality and focus on Christ will eventually lead to human selfishness and pride making something wonderful into a nightmare. Indeed, we see this happening before our eyes in our politically correct culture.
Rejoice in the healing sacrifice of Jesus to slay the emotional Goliaths you face this holiday season. Rejoice that Jesus has rescued you. He came to make all things right and he has. He is the light that shines into the darkness of your memories and of your heart.