What is your favorite season? If you are like many others, your choice will not be winter. Most people opt for the other three seasons. The new life of spring. The sun and fun of summer. The brisk feeling of autumn, when leaves transform the landscape from green to hues of red and gold.
But winter? It’s cold. It’s dreary. Christmas seems the only positive thing about it, and once Christmas is over, it’s cold and dreary again.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Cold, yes. Seasons change and winter brings freezing climates, snow in some locations, and a general gray feeling. Before the sun is high in the sky, it is setting again and the temperature is dropping once more. We cannot avoid the physical cold.
But the heart can be warm. Dreariness does not have to settle over us like a pall of gray lasting all season.
Why do people set up Christmas trees in their house at Christmastime? “Because everyone else does.” There is that, but there is another reason. Why are evergreens a traditional symbol of the holidays? In places where winter is the coldest and it lasts the longest, evergreens were a reminder of the new life that was coming, though hidden beneath snow and ice.
We all need those reminders. Of new life. Of hope. Of warmth when ‘tis cold and drear. Next time you look at your Christmas tree, or glimpse an evergreen outside your window, take a moment to remember that the cycle of life always continues. Rebirth and renewal course through the veins after a season of sorrow and even death.
It happens in the world around us, and it can happen inside us. When we stop and consider – not the evergreen tree or the coming of spring, but the birth of a baby boy who brought new life to all people.
Jesus is the greatest promise of undying life, hope eternal, and love that never fades.
Lord, the winter sometimes seems to last so long. The winter outside my door, yes, and the winter in my heart. Sorrow seeks to overwhelm me. The loss I’ve faced makes me feel as though nothing will ever make me smile again. There is a coldness in my heart that I feel I can’t shake.
Let Your love bring my heart to life again. It might be painful, I know, when a frostbitten heart is warmed by the power of Your light. But I would rather a living, beating heart, even if it feels pain, than a heart of stone.
This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols, a devotional inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols. Available as an e-book on Amazon, Finding Christ in the Carols will help you find moments of personal devotion and reflection during the busy holiday season.