What a wonderful time of year this is!
It often seems as though people are more friendly at this time of year (ok, except for the WalMart pepper-sprayers!), and there's just a different kind of 'spirit' in the air.
Christmas Time is here!
In Kalamazoo Community Church's recent "Rediscover Christmas" program, one of the songs (sung beautifully by Amanda Laplace) was "Christmas Time is Here" by Bebo Norman. (NOT the Charlie Brown version!)
What does this song say? Essentially that we have the option--WE have the choice--to be one of those who spread Christmas Cheer! The song is essentially a wish for blessing for all--that we wish Peace to others, Hope for the Hopeless, and Laughter for those in tears. It's a commitment to "lay our weapons down" and let our "walls disappear". Then we will actually experience peace--because "Christmas Time is Here"!
This is a nice sentiment, but only a couple of things can really make it a reality:
First, the peace, hope, and laughter only come BECAUSE of Jesus, born that first Christmas--so draw close to Him!
Second, we will only experience these things as WE take responsibility to choose to be positive, encouraging and hopeful.
There are MANY negative people in this world--we can be one of them very easily, but we don't HAVE to be!
Instead, you and I can determine to be one of those who spread Christmas Cheer--sincerely expressing our hope and prayers for peace, hope, laughter and love for others at Christmastime.
There is a LOT of attention right now (as every year) about whether we say 'Happy Holidays' or "Merry Christmas". I certainly like the latter, rather than the former, but much more importantly is the REALITY that you and I can direct people to "The Prince Of Peace"--Jesus! When they come to know Him, a whole new world will be opened for them. That would be a great Christmas wish!
As the Scriptures say "He Himself is our peace..." (Ephesians 2:14)
So, do I wish you "Merry Christmas"? Sure!
Do I hope for your "Peace, hope, laughter", and so on? Absolutely!
But more importantly, I echo the words of the Apostle Paul:
"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (Ephesians 3:16-19)
THAT is my Christmas wish for you...and for all of us!