Monday, December 26

The Christmas Spirit

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. "Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." --Luke 2:10, 11, 14

Calvin Coolidge once said that "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." This year my husband and I have talked about how there is something that just doesn't "feel" like Christmas this year. Perhaps it is because the weather has been in the mid to high 80s, and the air is hot and dry. Add to that the fact that many stores have replaced the phrase "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" and it is little wonder why we feel as though there is something missing. Even in the quote from Calvin Coolidge about Christmas being a state of mind, I get the feeling that his focus is not quite on target.

As long as we live in a fallen world, there will always be one attempt or another to remove Christ from Christmas. So what is the solution? Do we go along with the politically correct state of affairs? Do we give in to the commercialized celebration of "the holidays"?

Although Christmas day has now come and gone on our calendars, the celebration of Christ's coming will continue well into the New Year...and the year after. For me, Christmas is not a one day celebration. It is not a series of parties and family gatherings, a flurry of gifts, or an opportunity to take some time off work. Christmas is about recognizing that God's own Son was sent into the world at just the right time. Jesus was God in flesh, walking and living among His creation, all for the purpose of living a blameless and perfect life that none of us could.

Christmas, to some degree is a state of mind. It it being ever mindful of the reality of Jesus' birth and its reasons. It is about remembering that one day, when the time is right again, this world will cease to exist, and Christ will return to establish His Kingdom on the new earth. Is Christmas a season? Yes, but it is not one that is marked on the calendar. It is marked on the pages of history, as well as on the pages of God's plan for mankind. Peace, mercy and goodwill at the hand of our Creator God, are the things that Christians have to celebrate when we commemorate Jesus' birth.

Christmas is more than meets the eye. It is about what and Who has met our hearts. May the God of Christmas, the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, keep us ever forever focused on the reality of the incarnation, and the freedom we have been given through Jesus' death and resurrection.



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