Christmas Is Never Over

It’s truly amazing. Blink your eyes and suddenly ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ has disappeared right before your eyes. Christmas is over and has been replaced by Valentine’s Day, Christmas music is gone until next year and, if the truth be known, you’re probably ready for life to get back to normal. Before you know it, Christmas will probably be only a memory – except for the bills, extra pounds you’ve acquired and pesky needles that will appear in the oddest places for the next six months. But the Good News of a Great Joy is that Christmas is never over – it’s really just beginning! And the reason is so very basic. Christ has come to us as one of us to give us the gift of God’s unconditional, transformational and invitational love. And that’s something that can never be limited to a single day, 12 days or even a season.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours – may the peace of the Christ Child fill you with grace, peace, compassion, generosity, joy and hope!
 
“8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.””

Lord,

On this Holy Night, we joyfully celebrate how You became one of us in the most unlikely way. Not because You had to. But because You wanted to.

       As a child born to young parents alone and afraid.

       A teacher who shared Your love with all.

       And a Savior who hives us what we need, but can never get on our own.

On this Holy Night, we long for the Christ Child to be born into every nook and cranny of our lives.

       For the very first time.

     The first time in a long time.

       And in ways that will change us from the inside out.

On this Holy Night, we wait to be filled to overflowing with Your love.

       Love so unconditional it accepts us just the way we are.

       Love so transformational it just can’t leave us the way we are.

       And love so invitational it welcomes us into Your life itself.

On this Holy Night, we make a passionate commitment to follow Jesus.

       To go where he leads us.

       Share his love every day.

       And do it in the midst of everyday life.

On this Holy Night, we are ready to experience spiritual revival.

       Beginning right now.

       Continuing every day of our lives.

       And lasting for eternity.

On this Holy Night, we simply pray that Your Will shall be as real on earth as it already is in heaven. And we do so in the name of the Christ Child who is our Savior, Lord, Brother and Friend.

Amen.

It’s What Christmas Is

Are you ready for Christmas? Your first instinct may be to respond based on whether you’ve completed your shopping, wrapped the presents, finalized the menus, started cooking and cleaned the house. But there’s another way to respond that’s far more personal and powerful. That’s whether you really are ready to receive what God is giving you in Jesus – the fact that God willingly and fully came to us as one of us to us to fully share divine love, which unconditionally loves you just the way you are, loves you so much it is unwilling to leave you just the way you are, and invites you to experience the fullness of abundant and eternal life beginning right now. Of course, it may seem like a lot to ask to be ready for all of this. But, ultimately, it’s what Christmas is really all about.    

It’s Also Your Story

You know the Christmas Story of angels, a young couple, an unplanned pregnancy, an exhausting journey, the birth of a child in a stable, heavenly hosts, shepherds, magi, a frightened king and a harried escape to a foreign land. Indeed, you know it so well that you probably can talk about all the ways it truly is Good News about a Great Joy of how God has come to us as one of us in the most personal way possible – to share the love we absolutely need, but can never get on our own. But here’s the thing that truly makes the Christmas Story so astounding. Even though it’s a cosmic event that touches all of creation, it’s also your story because it changes everything about everything for you.