Growing up an only child had its pros and cons. The pros were that I rarely got hand-me-down clothes and I didn’t have to share my parents’ attention. The cons were that I didn’t have anybody to back me up if I was in trouble and sometimes it could a get a little lonely. My extended family is scattered around the world; I have cousins in the UK, the Caribbean, Australia and Algeria. While this means I get the occasional international holiday with free accommodation (what a bonus!) it also means that Christmas time can get lonely. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing photos of my friends with their brothers and sisters and cousins leaves me feeling left out.
The Reason for the Season
Although Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year, it can also be the most difficult for some. Perhaps, for whatever reason, you’re feeling alone this Christmas. Here are two things that I believe could help you!
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, the reason we celebrate Christmas is to remember the birth of Jesus and what it means for our world. Presents, delicious dinners and festive celebrations are secondary.
In Isaiah 9:6 we read
“For to us a Child is born, to us, a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (AMP).
Wherever you are and whoever you are with, you can take time to remember Jesus. With God, we are never truly alone – even when it can feel like we are! He is with you, and as the scripture says, He can be your father, and your family, this Christmas.
As I walk through the doors of my church, one of the first things I see is a big sign that says “Welcome Home” and I believe that this is especially true on Christmas Day! Churches all over Africa will be having a Christmas service, and often a Christmas Eve service too! If you’re not sure what to do on Christmas Day, there is a church family waiting to celebrate Christmas with you.
If you can’t get to a church, you can have what I sometimes call “home church”! On the days that I’ve been away, or unable to get to church, I have “church” by myself in my room. With technology, it’s become even easier as I can stream a podcast and listen to worship music without even leaving my house! If you want to read the Christmas story, you can find it in the Bible in the book of Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 and Luke 1:5 to 2:52.
Whatever you’re facing this Christmas, whether its loneliness or your first Christmas without a loved one, please remember that God is with you. He cares about you and He’s only a prayer away. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 we read that:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (ESV).
If you need comfort this festive season, I would encourage you to seek it from the greatest comforter of all. During His time on earth, Jesus experienced great loneliness and suffering himself, which means that He can empathise with the pain that you and I feel. You are never alone.