A Christmas Roast

By Staff Writer

Categories: Expressing God, Family and Friendship, Jesus' Birth

It was Christmas day, and we (my mom, dad, brother, and I) had just spent a fantastic day on the ski slopes. We were on the way home to have our Christmas dinner, a ski roast—a roast that cooks for a long time at a low temperature, giving us plenty of time to ski.

When we came home, the house where we were staying was filled with smoke. We flew into action. While Dad led the crusade to open windows, Mom opened the oven. What we saw after more smoke swirled out was a charred, round, very hard and black lump about the size of a tennis ball. Clearly, this oven did not cook the same way ours did. Clearly, this was not the Christmas dinner we had planned.

But no one was upset. No one blamed anyone else. No one cried over burnt meat. Instead, we laughed and made lots of jokes. We weren’t going to let this culinary disaster ruin our Christmas. We had been together all day having fun in the mountain air, appreciating the beauty around us, expressing joy and togetherness, and celebrating the Christ. So, we found a solution: we had left-over spaghetti for Christmas dinner.

The Christmas spirit remained with us. At the heart, Christmas is about the love that is shared and lived, as the birth and life of Christ Jesus so clearly demonstrates. What exquisite unselfish love he expressed … and expected us to express!

If we get distraught over burnt or messed-up food, frustrated that a particular tradition is being ruined, indignant that no one is helping, or upset over ________ (fill in the blank), then we’re missing out on Christmas—the Christ with us. We certainly want to feel the Christ with us.

And we can—by focusing on the love, refusing to let any type of darkness hide the Christ light, and nurturing and maintaining true joy. The phrase, “No one can take your joy from you,” which comes from Jesus (John 16:22), was a standard in our home. We put it into practice that Christmas day.

It’s such a powerful concept:

  • God has given us joy that cannot be taken away by anything. Our joy is innate and permanent. It belongs to us, and we can’t be deprived of it.
  • We then, are responsible for making sure that we live and work with joy. We want to safeguard our joy.
  • We watch our thoughts so that we can detect which thoughts will nurture joy and which thoughts could potentially take us into a downward spiral if we let them.

With such joy, we are able to meet with resilience and fortitude those bumps or bruises or even bigger disasters in life that happen. We are able to go through challenges with grace. We are able to serve others, to imbibe the Christ-spirit, which is a joyful spirit.

When we accept the joy of the Christ, we can sing with the angels, be awed like the shepherds, be inspired like the wise men, and be blessed. May we carry the spirit of Christly joy into everything we do this Christmas and always. (No rock-like roast can ever take that away from us!)

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