Do the Holidays Stress You Out?
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes,
I will remember your miracles of long ago.”
Religious calendars set a pattern we Christians follow. At Christmas, we remember the birth of God’s only Son. On Good Friday, we meditate on Christ’s sacrifice for us. Each Easter we rejoice in His resurrection, which guarantees our own.
During our Christian holidays, though, it’s easy to get distracted with Santa, bunnies, shopping, cooking, and decorating. Too often they can be busy, stressful, and even depressing. We need so much to pause, set aside our projects, and wait quietly to sense Christ during these times. Only then can we pour out our greatest treasures—worship and love. If we choose to focus on the spiritual meaning of our holidays and limit all the “extras”, they can truly be times of joyful celebration and spiritual renewal.
I came across a wonderful story a while ago that illustrates the importance of “remembering” during the holidays…and always.
THE EMPTY TOMB
Little Philip, born with Down’s syndrome, attended a third-grade Sunday school class. According to an article in Leadership magazine, the children did not readily accept Philip with his differences. Because of a creative teacher, they began to care about Philip and accept him as part of the group, though not fully. The Sunday after Easter the teacher brought in Leggs pantyhose containers. After each child received one, they were told to go outside on that lovely spring day, find some symbol for new life, and put it in the egg-like container. Back in the classroom, they would share their new-life symbols, opening the containers one by one in surprise fashion. After running about the church property in wild confusion, the students returned to the classroom and placed the containers on the table. Surrounded by the children, the teacher began to open the eggs. After each one, whether flower, butterfly, or leaf, the class would ooh and ahh. Then one was opened, revealing nothing inside. The children exclaimed, “That’s stupid. That’s not fair. Somebody didn’t do their assignment.”
Philip spoke up, “That’s mine.”
“It’s empty! You just don’t do things right!” a student retorted.
“I did so do it right,” Philip insisted. “The tomb was empty!”
Silence followed. From then on, Philip became a full member of the class. He died not long afterward from an infection most normal children would have shrugged off. At the funeral this class of eight-year-olds marched up to the altar not with flowers, but with their Sunday school teacher, each to lay on it an empty pantyhose egg.
Philip got it! He had allowed the truth and the glory of the Easter story to permeate his heart. His focus was on Christ. What a beautiful testimony to the simplicity of child-like faith. May it inspire each of us to pause, taking in the real meaning of each Christian holiday. And we certainly don’t need a calendar or a holiday to rejoice in the new life we’ve been given.
The Power of Truth:
- “…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Rom. 6:4b
- “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” 2 Cor. 5:17
Suggestion for Prayer:
Remember and celebrate your new life through praise and worship.