Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas begins


Welcome to December!  This year has flown by and has brought many great days as well as much to think about.  I truly am grateful for what God has done.  I am also excited about the stuff that God has set up for our family and our church.

Christmas is only a little over three weeks away, and this is the major holiday, and holy day, for Christians.  How we deal with this deal and how we share it with others.  God’s love expressed through the birth of Jesus is one way we open the world to seeing the hope and possibilities that our awesome God offers.  Sharing with others comes with sharing the story and with living out the principles that are associated with it.

When we seek to share with others and serve as Jesus did, we begin to be Christ to them.  We might not be able to serve a large group of people, but we can serve one at a time.

The first act of love is the paying of attention to someone --- Dallas Willard

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.

“If I look at the masses I won’t act; If I look at the one I will” --- Mother Teresa

The challenge is before us to make much of Christmas.  What we make important, what we make much of will allow others to see what we see and experience what we experience.  Just as giving attention to a person lets them know you think they are important, but it also establishes that person’s value in your mind.  That is an excellent way of serving.

Make this apply to Christmas.  Julie and I have three awesome kids.  We are so proud of them.  One of the things that I want each of my children to have is a healthy view of themselves and a clear view of God.  It is an honor to give to our kids and to make them happy.  It is an honor to God to help my kids begin to love and serve others.  We help them know the value of others by helping them serve and love the people around them.

Christmas is an opportunity to serve.  Christmas is an opportunity to let others know that they are valuable to God.  The challenge is ahead to let others know that Christmas and the very first Christmas was meant as a gift to give them back the value that God created them, and us, with.

Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. --- Hamilton W. Mabie

I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. --- Charles Dickens quoting Scrooge’s nephew in A Christmas Carol

May God help us to have open minds and open hands to help others experience the real joy and hope that God gives all year round.  Christmas is an opportunity to make it a reality!

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