Skip to comments.The Christmas Gathering
Posted on 12/17/2010 9:53:40 AM PST by hawkins
This Christmas season, a great number of families and friends will gather together. Some celebrating Christmas for secular reasons others for religious. Some of the greatest joys and disappointments are experienced this time of the year. Here are three suggestions to aid your holiday experience, so the entire Christmas package may be opened with joy. Remember your gathering is not a courthouse, a tennis court, or Golgatha.
Leave your judicial robes in the closet. A holiday gathering is not the time for judgment and conviction. You have all gathered together at your own will. This is a time for patience and peace. The scriptures use the word longsuffering, which may be more appropriate in your case. Yes, your relatives may do or say things that drive you crazy. You are different people and different people have different lifestyles. However, you have not gathered together to ruin someones special day by telling them what is wrong with their life. There are other times to have those discussions. Realize these are people who are in the same crazy life that you are. They want the same thing you do, to have joy, which the world tries to steal away as often as possible.
Hebrews 12:14 - Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord:
There are going to be comments made during the gathering that may be an irritant or even hurtful. Yes, you want to bring out your backhand dont do it. Do not engage in a volley of words. At first, it seems as if these things are subtle barbs, a little poke in the ribs. Perhaps no one notices, but you do. So you launch another comment back. Before you know it a full scale match of words is going on. You are each serving up one mouthful of pain after another. Is that why you are gathering? Is that going to make the others around you feel good? You dont get set, point, match by seeing who you can hurt the most at a holiday gathering. The issue is one of humility. No one likes to be put down. To counter it, our conceit, or ego swings back. Instead, let us swallow our pride and take up the matter at a more private time and in a mature fashion.
Galatians 5:26 - Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Golgatha is the place to where Jesus carried His cross and died. First, you are not going to die at your holiday gathering. You may pass out from food consumption or get salmonella eating Aunt Hilgas deviled eggs, but the chances of you dying are extremely small. Second, carrying your cross of burden and suffering can create a lot of damage around the house (think of the small amount of space in the kitchen!). Seriously, there are many folks each holiday season that act as if it is the biggest burden they have every engaged in by gathering together. The house is too full, the turkey kept them up 9 hour last night, there is dirt on the front door rug, there arent enough pickled beets for everyone, where are all the pies going to go, and oh, the dirty dishes and they have to take care of it all! Woe is me! Look how much I have to put up with to make this all happen. Yes, someone out there is carrying an awful big cross. In the midst of a party, they are working hard to fill everyone up with a big, hot, steaming plate of guilt. Dont let this be you. Remember, serving others is something we do out of kindness and love. Can you imagine Christ carrying his cross to Golgatha and complaining all the way? Christ did indeed suffer, but was silent as a lamb led to the slaughter. What he did, he did out of love. Perhaps, you can remember His Words if you really feel you are suffering by serving:
Luke 23:34 - And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Friends, if you gather during this time of year, remember this is a time you can lead by example. Make your example one of peace, humility, and love. You are not at a courthouse, tennis court, or Golgatha. There is a connection to those with whom you are gathering together. These are family and friends who want to have the best of the day for themselves, you, and the rest of those gathered. In the best of all worlds, your example allows you to influence hopeful future heirs to the kingdom of God (Revelation 21:7). In the least, you make it through your gathering and dont leave with mash potatoes thrown into your hair.
Good advice. My wife and I are the only Conservatives on either side of our combined families. We never get into fights. We just smile and nod, and occasionally ask questions which would be thought-provoking in any setting where people wanted to engage in thinking. We like to call it “casting pearls before swine” between ourselves. We’re non-confrontational and just try to enjoy our family as much as we can.
It is sad such a good time can be so stressful on so many people.
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