The Weekly Clothesline: Merry “Anxious” Christmas!

Posted 12/18/23

It begins with an angel telling a teenager that she is being asked to become the mother...

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The Weekly Clothesline: Merry “Anxious” Christmas!


No matter how hard we try to keep things simple at this time of year, the Christmas season brings anxiety — writing Christmas cards, making gift lists, fretting over travel plans, planning parties. And what about families that are not together because of distance or dysfunction? And then there’s the first Christmas since we’ve lost that special loved one or spouse. Christmas can be stressful.

However, any stress we might experience can’t compare to Mary and Joseph. Yes, they trusted that God had a plan. But faith and trust in God doesn’t always take away human anxieties. If you have Christmas stress, try to imagine the stress of Mary and Joseph…

It begins with an angel telling a teenager that she is being asked to become the mother of Jesus. Would you like to explain that to your mother? Then at first, Joseph thinks that Mary has been unfaithful, but an angel says the child is the Son of God. And while we might have stress for less than a month, they carried this coming event close to their hearts for nine months!

This beautiful story never gets old for me. It’s a story of courage and true dependence on God’s Providence. So, when the holidays bring up stressful things for me … for us … it’s good to remember that story and the promises to follow. Take a breath. Don’t dwell on problems; work on the present. God is with us through the holiday stress and anxieties. That knowledge alone gives me strength.

About the author: Rev. Elizabeth L. Nelson is the priest at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in LaBelle.

weekly clothesline, anxious, christmas, mary, joseph, jesus