One of the best bumper stickers I ever saw was this: Don’t Postpone Joy!
It might seem like following that exhortation should be easiest to do at this time of year. There are gatherings of friends and family and church communities. There are sparkling lights and festive music. There are sweet smells of cookies and fresh cut trees.
But it is also easy to get caught up in what some have called the “Christmas Machine” – the stress of family tensions, finding perfect gifts, traipsing to gatherings hither and yon, or playing the consummate host. And it is also easy to feel left out – estranged or just far from family, missing friends who are traveling, or beset by worries or grief.
And yet the miracle of the birth of Jesus at Christmas comes just the same. Even when we are not ready, or when we are distracted, or anxious, or sad, God intervenes and does something amazing! New life is born.
Sure, we may still harbor hopes that we’ll be able to make this Christmas perfect – hopes that we will be fully ready, and surrounded by only the people we like the best, and that we will have everything we desire. But just in case that it isn’t how it happens (!), we can appreciate the joy that is still to be found – in the music and the lights and the delicious treats and the smiles of those we pass on the sidewalk.
There is joy around us, and within us – we have only to take a moment to notice it, and savor it. Don’t Postpone Joy!