Holiday Gatherings

Ahhh, Christmas. The Norman Rockwell pictures of loving families, beautifully decorated homes, where laughter, and gaiety abound. Is that a picture of your family gatherings?

Or is your family more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or Robert Earl Keen’s song, Merry Christmas From the Family?

Would it be accurate to say there were one or two in the crowd, who either carry a

decades-old grudge, they make sure everyone knows about – again, or who believes it is their responsibility to point out others’ short-comings and flaws, in case anyone forgot?

Maybe there are unmet expectations. Unintentionally hurt feelings. Losses. Squabbling relatives. Sullen teens. Painful scars. Secrets. Denial. Resentment.

Sometimes, getting together with family and friends, can be a trying time. Don’t you think?

In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul said, “As much as is possible, live peaceably with all men.”

Do you think Paul meant for us to do that even during holiday get togethers, when stress is at an all time high?


Maybe, Paul meant especially during those times.

So what should we do? A friend of mine suggests we all, “Get over yourself.”

Here’s what Paul said.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14.

Forgive as the LORD forgave you, and put on his love.


There is a line in Dougie MacLean’s song, We’ll Be Together Again, that I absolutely love. I  need it engraved on my heart.

…and the venom stays asleep in the tooth of the snake, and we don’t hold against us the mistakes that we made, we’ll be together again.

How many times has the venom left the snake’s tooth, and spewed, unchecked? Past mistakes brought up, and played over and over again; ad nauseaum? What keeps us from being together again?

In as much as it depends on you.

In this video, Jill Phillips, sings Andrew Peterson’s song, Labor of Love, while her husband, Andy Gullahorn, plays the guitar. God’s gift of the Redeemer, and Christ’s sacrifice, continues to be a labor of love.

There were no mid-wives to be found, on the streets of David’s town, in the middle of the night.

May your holiday gatherings be filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, and patience. And may all venom be kept in the tooth of the snake.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.



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