“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:28-33).
December can be difficult for those dealing with illness. Advertisements state the joy of the season. People are smiling, shopping and entertaining. Oftentimes we cannot partake in these activities and if we can, have to conserve energy to do so. Our limitations seem highlighted.
Personally, December reminds me of the day I woke with the flu. This flu seemed the factor that caused the malfunctioning of my autonomic nervous systems. Two-thirds of my life I also have begun December with the anniversary of my dad’s death. December has been melancholy for years.
I have to marvel, however, on the most important event–the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.
Do you ever just think about those days when our Savior was born? Mary and Joseph had no running water, electricity or gas heat. I was reminded recently how important water is as we were forced to use it sparingly until a new sewer line was installed. But in Jesus’ time, Mary gave birth in that stable without any modern conveniences.
The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus’ birth. We celebrate in different fashions. Praying, however, is a common theme. And finding a quiet place to reflect on Jesus and the huge impact He has had on our lives is truly joy-filled.
As the popular Christmas hymn proclaims:
‘Hark!’ the herald angels sing. Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful, all ye nations, rise; Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.
How fortunate we are to have our beliefs. Jesus is in our hearts and lives through eternity. The birth of Jesus is a miracle. Let us remember this as we celebrate Christmas.
Hark the herald angels sing. Glory to the newborn King.
Prayer: Dear Lord: Open our minds and hearts to the beauty of Jesus’ birth as we celebrate Christmas. Help us to remember that despite our trials, You walk this journey with us, providing support and love. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in 2012. She is finishing writing a book about her journey with dysautonomia, the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system.
How do you find joy in this season?
If you haven’t heard of the group Penatonix, you may love this surprise. I’ve always been a fan of acapella, but wow. This is a beautiful arrangement of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” with some moments of gospel. This is my favorite Christmas song for the second year and it just gives me that joy that makes me want to dance and think of how joyous it was when Jesus was born . . . and will be again when He returns! -Lisa