As we move from Thanksgiving to Christmas we move from a season that is known for giving thanks to a season known for joy and celebration. Everywhere we look we see decorations, hear music and witness people giving and receiving gifts. It is the time that was created to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
A time to be filled with hope, joy, peace and love.
When I was a child I could not wait for Christmas to come. I would help decorate the tree and the outside was full of colorful lights. The presents, the toys, the gifts, the lights, the food- it was a magical time. I can remember waiting until my eyes could no longer stay open in hopes that I would here Santa and his reindeer. Looking back, I am sure that my parents do not remember it the same way. We did not have excessive money and I realize how they struggled to make Christmas special. I hope that my child remembers a magical time when he reflects on his childhood Christmas days. I hope that he has fond memories of the small details that his dad and I would work tirelessly to perfect. Looking through the eyes of a child is a magical sight.
As an adult, Christmas can still be full of joy and love. We have seasons that things are wonderful in our life and the magic remains. We also have seasons of hurt and pain. For some people this season will be painful. For some, Christmas will not be magical. It will be a time of longing for loved ones that are gone. It will be a time of sadness when you are longing for what you wish was there, but is not. For some, it will be a time of wanting to create the magic for someone else, but being unable to. Unfortunately, his is the season with the highest depression and suicide rate. People that are hurting look around and see that they “should be joyful and happy”, but they are not. This makes them hurt more.
Christmas is not really about the lights, the food or the presents. Christmas is about God’s love. God sent his only son so that we could have eternal life. He sent his only son so that we do not have to pay for our mistakes and our sins. He sent his son because HE LOVES YOU! John 3:16- God loved the world so much that He sent his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
How can we make a difference this Christmas season?
In this season of Christmas we are called to love. We are not called to put up lights, to eat or buy gifts (those things are great and I enjoy all of them). But this season is really about love. We are called to love others. We are called to love those that are depressed, hopeless, abandoned and unlovable at the moment.
Spend this season looking for those that Christ would look for and love them. Look for the homeless, beggar, the blind, the poor, the lame and the women at the well. Look for the ones that are overlooked every day. Look for the hurting mother, the neglected child and the elderly that is alone this season. Show them the love that Christ would show. Love that will feed them and clothe them and most of all love that will fill their hearts with Christ.
John 15: 11-12 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Your joy will overflow. This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
God tells us the secret to a joyful life, one that is overflowing with joy.
It is to Love!
When we love with the love of Christ, then we will find Hope, Joy, Peace and Love. Then we will find the true meaning of Christmas.