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Could you be merry around Ernest?
Imagine having to deal with all your Christmas woes – buying the presents, wrapping the presents, balancing all the parties, balancing your budget, watching your weight, putting up with your family – and then having to deal with a neighbor like Ernest P. Worrell.
There are a million humbugs that can keep you from being merry at Christmas. Endless car trips. Hour long waits in department store lines. Ideal gifts not arriving on time. Weather that feels like summer.
Even the shopping malls are already packing up Christmas items and kicking off the Valentine’s Day push.
How can someone stay merry at Christmas amongst a desert of spirit?
There’s only one wise answer.
The Wise Men in the Christmas story were called to find the newborn King of the Jews. They likely traveled for weeks to find Jesus.
Can you imagine trying to keep the Christmas spirit on the back of a camel for weeks at a time? It’s hard enough to stay Merry in the backseat of a Honda CRV driving across the interstate.
How did the Wise Men stay merry through the desert? How did they press on to offer the first Christmas gifts when their spirit must have been sapped?
The Wise Men looked up.
After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was – the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. (Matthew 2:9-11)
Instead of looking around at all the roadblocks in their way, the Wise Men looked up. They followed the star God put in place to lead them. They were “overjoyed beyond measure” when they stopped looking at their personal problems and looked up.
If you’re feeling like slamming the door in the face of a neighbor like Ernest, if you’re struggling to stay merry, if you’re struggling to actually find Jesus at Christmas, retreat from the chaos and spend some time looking up for the star of God to lead you back. Seek Jesus like the Wise Men once did.
“Once I am truly convinced that preparing the heart is more important than preparing the Christmas tree, I will be a lot less frustrated at the end of the day.” – Henri Nouwen, The Road To Daybreak
What keeps you from being Merry at Christmas?