The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year. It also turns out to be one of the most stressful and difficult times of the year. There are so many activities and demands placed on each one of us that stress levels seems to be turned up. You can see it on the faces of complete strangers who are as stressed about what to buy for Christmas as you are. If we are not careful, we end up turning this season of joy, hope, and peace into a time of anxiety and conflict.
I believe the #change the conversation revolution is essential for this season of Advent. It is exactly at the time when so many of us seem to be stressed to the point of exhaustion that we need to practice encouraging one another. We need to be kind to everyone. In the middle of all of the demands and expectations that we often place on ourselves, let us not forget to love one another. As we gather at the table and around the tree this Christmas, let’s not forget to be at peace with each other.
The rhetoric of our time continues to be divisive and hateful. It may almost be hard to hear words of peace, love, joy, and hope during this Christmas season. The good news is that we are not alone and this effort to change the conversation is not hopeless. God is with us. Christ came to redeem and reconcile the world. We are ambassadors of reconciliation and have the opportunity to make the world a better place by changing the conversation.
The way this works is that we start living this out with our family and friends and in our community. We practice kindness on social media. We encourage a neighbor that we might see at the grocery store. We strive to promote peace in relationships that are strained. We serve those who are in need. This happens hour by hour and day by day. You may not see any drastic change outwardly but if you will stay at it, you will begin to notice that something is happening on the inside. You will find yourself more loving, encouraging, kinder, compassionate, and hopeful.
This Christmas season my prayer for you is the same that Paul prayed for the Thessalonians – “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.”
May each one of us learn to #change the conversation!
Joy and Peace,