Cold weather. Festivities. Decorations. Lights of white and various bright colors. Family gatherings. Giving to others. Parties. Exchanging pleasing greetings. Music. Seasonal movies. Yes, even shopping. It’s already that time of year!
I’ve always loved the Christmas season, and I look forward to it yearly with great anticipation. I guess that’s due to a great degree because of my parents and family who modeled and taught ever increasing and enduring love, kindness and generosity extended to others. Plus, there is always the hope of peace and good will toward mankind.
The main reason I love Christmas, however, is because of the reason we celebrate, which from a Christian point of view is the birth of the Christ Child.
Every August, my family and I begin listening to carols and other seasonal music. We also begin to rehearse for the Christmas music presentation at our church. Each September we begin to watch Christmas movies, both old favorites and new releases. Popcorn, hot chocolate, being bundled up in quilts and fleece blankets, (even if we have to turn down the thermostat and turn on the ceiling fan), seem to create the right environment for fun, entertainment, and love that we share with and for each other.
By Thanksgiving week, I also begin to read stories, poems, and personal accounts of favorite Christmas experiences and memories. I enjoy reading these to my wife and children, and they always seem to enjoy listening. I also love to read to and share with them the Biblical account of the birth of the Savior, the reason He came to earth, and what He has done for those who believe in Him.
As I began reading this holiday season, I came across a poem written by Helen Steiner Rice that somewhat addresses this spiritual train of thought.
“What better time and what better season, What greater occasion or more wonderful reason To kneel down in prayer and lift our hands high to the God of Creation Who made land and sky. And, oh, what a privilege as the new year begins To ask God to wipe out our errors and sins, And to know when we ask, if we are sincere, He will wipe our slate clean as we start a new year. So at this glad season when joy’s everywhere, Let us meet our Redeemer at the altar of prayer.” There is much to enjoy during the Christmas season, much to share, much to appreciate, and much in which to believe. There is also much for which to be thankful, regardless of life’s circumstances."
So, I was thinking…..
There is no better time to kneel, pray, ask forgiveness, and be thankful for all my blessings and for the true meaning of Christmas. I intend to do just that. I encourage our community to do the same, for it’s in that acknowledgement and action that we grow stronger, better, and more effective individually and collectively. It’s then that we also grow stronger spiritually.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed, prosperous, and a very Happy New Year!