Feature

Lonely Christmas

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For many people, Christmas is the loneliest day of the year. All the lights, decorations and parties seem to promise a spectacular emotional high and a burst of social engagements. But in reality, many people experience a fair measure of depression.

Over the centuries, Christmas has become, like most other religious holidays, a time for celebrating family, community and friendship. For those who are far away from loved ones, however, the absence of family and close friends screams silence, and the distance from them seems to extend forever. For those who are single and alone, the agony can be almost smothering.

Loneliness is the hollow we feel at the deepest part of our being, the void that aches with the sense that nobody really knows us or really cares. We try to take away the emptiness by stuffing it with activity, education, possessions, pleasures and people, but that inner ache just won’t go away.

St. Augustine said humans are created with a God-shaped vacuum that only He can fill; we are restless until we find our completeness in Him. As a result, when we walk away from the only One who can fill that void in our spirit, we experience the deep loneliness that will not go away.

Ironically, the loneliest day of the year commemorates the arrival on earth of the only One who can remove that pain. We stumble about in our aloneness during this season not because Jesus failed to accomplish His objective but because we have forgotten what it’s all about. Christmas celebrates the fact that the One who knows us best also loves us most. God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that whoever trusts in Him will never perish but have eternal (abundant, complete, satisfying, love-filled) life.

Perhaps this Christmas you may be feeling like the only person on the planet. I suggest you communicate with your loving heavenly Father, and let Him know that your heart wants to come home. He will be with you in an instant!

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