Christmas can be depressing. Christmas can be stressful. Christmas can be sad. Christmas can be a myriad of things that make us cringe when we think of December 25th. But Christmas can also be joy. Christmas can also be peace. The question is, how do we find peace and joy in the midst of where we are?

In the midst of trying to pay the heating bill, we can find joy. In the midst of figuring out how to afford the rising cost of groceries, we can find peace. In the midst of the commercialization of Christmas, we can still find Christ.

I think that most of us have at one point or another been through difficult times, and with the present monetary crisis there will certainly be more. Whether you are self-employed, have lost your job, had a serious illness in the family, dealt with disabilities or any of dozens of things, the physical, emotional and financial toll can feel crippling. I think a lot of us at one time or another have wondered where the next bag of groceries was coming from, or how we would come up with the rent/mortgage money. But God has always provided for me, and throughout my entire life, I have never gone hungry or been without a place to live. Often, God’s provision has come from the kindness of people whom I could never sufficiently thank. I have more blessings than I could ever have hoped for, and I’m choosing to be thankful for all that I do have this Christmas.

Matthew 6:25-34 (King James Version)

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I will find peace this Christmas, because God knows my needs and will meet them in his own way and time. I will find joy this Christmas because God has made provision for not only my physical needs, but more importantly, my spiritual needs. I will find Christ this Christmas, because like the shepherds 2000 years ago, He is right here, in my hometown, in my humble home, and at my request, dwelling within my heart.