A Prayer for the Holiday Season
By Molly Law
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” – Luke 2:10
When the calendar hit October 1, my soul filled with glee as I realized the sweep of holidays was in full effect: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. I love this time of year! Everything feels so festive, people come together more easily, and as the crisp autumn breeze blows the varying color of the leaves that turn into a winter wonderland, it feels almost magical — like anything could happen.
But on that first day of October, other feelings were intermingling with my joy. A sliver of stress shot through my body at the mere thought of all that needs to be done: make sure to have candy at the ready for trick-or-treaters, make a list and prepare all that food for Thanksgiving, and set aside money for all of the Christmas gifts I will need to buy for my friends and family.
As I move through these two emotions in quick succession, I remember what or, more accurately, who will be missing. I know this is a very common feeling that comes with the holidays. For my family, we lost our beloved grandfather on December 8, 2011. As Christmas Day was also his birthday, we did not celebrate Christmas that year in the same way. In the years following, Christmas has felt like a piece of it was missing.
Time passes, and the pain eases slightly; new family members are born, new ones are added through marriage, and joy slowly infiltrates the celebrations that were once so painful to endure. Even though their memory and the pain of not having them during the holidays never goes away, there is One who comforts us no matter the time of year.
How beautiful it is that at Thanksgiving we can sing praises to our Lord for all the many blessings we have received and for His grace and mercy. And at Christmas, we can celebrate the birth of our Savior, who humbled himself and came as a vulnerable baby to grow as fully human and fully God to suffer and die on a cross and be raised to life, all so that we can have salvation and be united with Him in heaven.
Thank you for this time of year, full of laughter, fun, and celebration. Thank you for the time to reflect on you and your many blessings and celebrate the birth of your only Son as your long-fulfilled promise of love for us. Although the world depicts a time of year full of laughter and joy, I pray for those who feel alone, for those who are grieving. I pray as they look around and see nothing but happiness that they do not feel like something is wrong with them. Why they cannot seem to just choose happiness in the most wonderful time of the year, as the Christmas song depicts.
My Father, I pray for those who have lost a loved one or several loved ones and feel nothing but pain and sadness during the holidays. I pray that we do not forget them — I pray we show them kindness and understanding. I pray we can let them know that any and all feelings can be felt during the holidays, and that is okay. I pray that this year, we enjoy the family we do have around us. I pray we remember the good times we had with a loved one now lost and that only good memories abound in our minds. I pray that the holidays bring love, joy, and kindness to us all and that we show it to a world that is broken and hurting.
Thank you for coming to earth and living among us until it was time for you to die and rise again for us. Thank you for taking away our sins and offering us the gift of salvation. I pray that the focus of the holidays this year be about you and your love for us — that we keep Jesus at the heart of our celebrations.
We love and trust you with all of our hearts, our Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
Molly Law is the Editor of C.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the nonprofit ACA and Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, UK. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling. Check her out here.
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