For most people, Christmas is the biggest holiday on the calendar. It is a time when the business of life stops, families gather together and we reflect upon what God has done for us. It is a time of joy and laughter. It is also a time of sorrow and tears. Christmas is the loneliest day of the year. Many people celebrate Christmas in solitude. Some have no family. Some grieve the loss of loved ones. And for some there are no presents. Some live on the streets, curled up in a box to keep warm.
Darlene and I are by ourselves this Christmas day. We walked a trail in Huntington and strolled through campus picking up trash. I kept thinking about people who have no one on this day. Our children and their families will arrive in a few days and the wrapping will fly, but for some the loneliness of this holiday is overwhelming. A recent survey of adults in America found that almost half of them feel like they are alone in this world. Eighteen percent of people in America claim they have no one to talk to.
The Good News is that God is there and we can talk to him. Just as important, God has created a community where relationships are recast. The early Christians referred to one another as “brother” and “sister,” even when there was no deoxyriboneucleic link. People who had no family, orphans and widows, and those outcast from society were embraced as family members. People who felt that they were alone in this world, realized that there was a vast body of people who really cared. In the busyness of this season, have we forgotten the people who are alone on this day? . . . God, forgive me for ignoring the needs of others.