Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
24 hours…almost to the minute. It all began with Christmas Eve service at our church that started promptly at 5:00 pm. This is one of the best things we do all year and yet it really isn’t anything we do. Families come and fill the worship center. We have some wonderful Christmas worship and readings from the Word of God. It is my privilege to share something from the Bible and from my heart. We end the service by sharing “the light of Christmas” with one another…a simple candle is lit and shared with everyone across the room as we sing “Silent Night.” It always lasts just about an hour and then with anticipation, everyone goes their own way.
For Judy and me and the rest of the Taylor tribe that means gathering at one of our homes where we enjoy family, food, and fellowship. Everyone gets a new pair of Christmas pajamas as we share some wonderful food. Soon, too soon, our family disperses to their various homes. The only exception is that Judy and I spend the night with our oldest daughter and her family and get to wakeup Christmas morning as the family opens presents and just enjoy being family. Later in the day some of the family comes back and we have Christmas lunch together with more laughter and more fellowship. Soon, too soon, the day comes to a close, and we go our separate ways, and our hearts are filled with gratitude for a day well lived.
It is sometimes hard to see the day end. After weeks of anticipation and excitement, as the sun sets, the reality is that we go back to our routines. Soon the Christmas music will be pushed to the end of our playlist and the decorations will be packed away for another year and all of us will soon be doing life as before…or will we? I believe that we can and should carry some of Christmas with us right into the New Year. I believe that is what Mary and Joseph did. They didn’t leave Bethlehem the same way they arrived. They left carrying the Hope of the world in Mary’s arms and under the watchful eye of Joseph. They left with new purpose and new insight to care for and love the Baby placed in their care. Life wasn’t easy and neither Mary nor Joseph knew all the curves and potholes this new road would have. They simply decided to trust God for the day after Christmas…and the day after that.
It would be easy for us to slip into what is called the “post-Christmas blues.” But I think we do have a choice. While we do have to move on, we can carry Christmas with us. You see Christmas isn’t just the music, the decorations, and the traditions. No Christmas is a celebration of God becoming man and dwelling with us and among us and in fact…in us. Christmas is a celebration of Christ and that isn’t, nor should it be, about a day or season on a calendar. It is about the power of God’s love for this world…a love so great He gave His Son…the same one born on Christmas…for us. How about that?
So today, why not go ahead and break into a chorus or two of “Joy to the World?” After all, the good news of His coming is still good news. Why not do today what you did a couple of days ago when you chose to show a little kindness? After all, there are no seasonal limits on kindness or love. That is something we can and should do every day. I think we can all agree, Christian or not, that the world could use a little more of each. I know that is what Jesus did. He went around doing good…not in honor of His birthday but because that was who He was and what He did.
Paul, the guy who wrote a bunch of the New Testament part of the Bible said, “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” Now that is enough to make it Christmas every day! Sound a little challenging? Don’t worry, the God who made all of this is just waiting to help you. In fact, if you listen closely, you will hear Him whispering, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne