What Happened to Peace and Joy

I arrived back in the city where I live to discover that while I was away in the eastern part of Canada a young boy tried to burn down the north-end Walmart in my city. You know, the one nearest where I live. So, I drove over to do some basic household shopping the other day. I don’t ever do any Christmas shopping. It was closed. There was enough fire and smoke damage to close the store for the rest of the holiday season. 

So, several days ago I drove to the southend Walmart along with, I am sure, many other northenders. After all, Walmart has what we need and at a decent price. The traffic into the parking lot was bumper-to-bumper. It took a half hour to just get into the parking lot from the nearest stop light. Then, no shopping carts. I mean none. None in the store and none in the outside “place your carts here” locations. So, I followed someone around the parking lot while they tried to locate their car so I could grab their cart once they had loaded things into their car.

The store was packed. You waited at every isle and every turn. But, I finally had everything I came for (nothing with respect to Christmas) and was looking forward to getting out and getting home.  So, cat litter, cat food, dog pads, and dog food in shopping cart I head to the cash out. Well, forty minutes later I was finally out the door heading for my car. Being chased by a little old lady looking to steal my cart as soon as I was finished with it. 

Getting out of the parking lot and back to that nearest stop light – 40 minutes. And, figure this, no coffee. 

So, I arrived home, unpacked everything and poured a strong coffee. And, as I sat in my favourite chair I was thinking about my experience. I wondered what happened to the “great joy” that the angel spoke of when announcing the birth of the Christ child? Luke 2:10 states, “I bring you good news of a great joy…” I didn’t see any joy in my outing. Regretfully, not even in my heart. In fact, I am sure even my countenance did not exhibit any joy. 

Then I got to thinking about the fact that we are celebrating the birth and arrival of the “Prince of peace.” And, believe me, I did not see any semblance of peace on anyone’s face during the whole outing. Anger, yes. Frustration, yes. Impatience, yes. Anxiety, yes. Tiredness, yes. Peace of heart or mind, no!

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this Christmas thing? It seems to me that the worse time of the year to find or see peace and joy is in the mad rush of the Christmas season. 

Could it be that we have taken the Christ out of Christmas? Could it be that there is simply no time to find that peace that so easily escapes us. We are just too busy with the celebration of a Christ-less Christmas. Yes, even the Christians. And, in the busy season when so many extra activities are added to an already busy and full schedule what little peace of heart and mind we regularly experience seems to disappear completely. 

It’s time to take back Christmas for the Christ child. Maybe it is even time for those who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ and have not confessed Him as Lord and Saviour to get off our holiday. Go to work. Don’t take a holiday.  You don’t believe so what is it that you are really celebrating. And, why are you celebrating with a Christmas tree and Christmas presents when you don’t love or worship the Christ. Get off our holiday. Or, celebrate your days off differently and stop living like a hypocrite apparently celebrating the birth of a child you don’t believe in.

Just a recurring thought I have about this time each and every year. Just a thought.