501645077

The radio is now filled with sounds of the season. Andy Williams tells us it is the most wonderful time of the year. Indeed, the Christmas holiday is upon us. Everyone has a different feeling about this time of year. I hope that each of you find peace, joy, and true happiness during this special time.  May you be blessed. 

 

I remember as a child the excitement of the build toward Christmas. There was just something about it. The anticipation, the change of weather, the songs, the lights, the trees being decorated, the stores having displays of festive things and (yes, I am dating myself) but the Sears Catalog. It was a clear sign of the season when that beauty arrived in the mail. There is just something about Christmas. I know some have become all hum-buggy over the commercialization of everything, but there is still something special about this season. 

 

If we stop to think about it, Christmas is the one holiday that is observed in nearly every corner of the world. So, for one time a year, everyone comes to agreement that such a day is special. Isn’t that the power of God? Isn’t that what the love of Christ is supposed to do: Join us together? Regardless of race, creed or social status, the love of Christ is a binder, it is a joiner, it is true, it is pure, it is holy. How awesome would it be if we would focus on that and not all the foolishness that seems to dominate the headlines?

 

A dear friend of mine put out a song several years ago and the words have always spoken to my heart. I try to sing it every year no matter where I have severed. The words are simple, but the message is clear. It says: 

 

Christmas, Christmas, its the time of the year 

 

for spreading good tidings laughter and cheer 

 

exchanging our gifts with the friends we love dear, 

 

but is that really what Christmas is for?

 

 

Remember that Christmas is the birthday of Christ, 

 

the babe that was born in a manger one night 

 

to deliver the world from its heartache and strife, 

 

this is what Christmas is for. 

 

 

Now when you wake up on Christmas 

 

and look beneath the tree 

 

to see all the gifts you’ve been blessed to receive, 

 

remember the gift that God gave you and me, 

 

this is what Christmas is for. 

 

In the hustle and bustle of it all it is easy to forget. In the heavy traffic, in the crowded stores, in the rush to find the perfect gift, in the frustration of crowded parking lots, it is easy to forget what it is all about. We can find and in fact feel all types of emotions this time of year. Anger, sadness, joy, peace, on the edge, and the list can truly just keep going. It honestly depends on our focus. If we learn to keep the main thing, the main thing, then the rest of it just seems to be what it is. 

 

Red West, who was a member of the Memphis mafia and one of Elvis’ main protectors, was also a great song writer. The familiar Elvis song that is played every year on the radio called “Why Can’t Everyday Be Like Christmas” was written by Red. This song asked a valid question: why can’t everyday be like Christmas? The lyrics go through a story of one who is witnessing the wonders of the season. They hear bells ringing, a choir singing, they see children laughing and playing. They see the innocence of a child speaking to Santa, they see a difference and wonder this season brings and they think: why can’t such a state remain, why does it have to return to something else? The song chorus ends with a statement “for if everyday could be just like Christmas what a wonderful world this would be.”

 

The fact is, it can be. No, we do not have to have trees and lights up all year or give gifts each day or have eggnog and fruitcake every week, but the love and spirit of Christ, the very reason for it all, He lives in each of us and does so every day. Life often robs of us of this thought. We get so tied up with this and that, we get so sidetracked with everything that we, many times, forget or lose sight of the fact that we do have something better, we do have something to celebrate. We have been set free, we have been forgiven, we have a gift that is priceless. We have every reason to feel that everyday can be like Christmas. We certainly will have moments that challenge us, that is life. We will not always have a spring in our step every single day. However, we have a never-ending reason to keep on keeping on. If we have come to know Christ, if we truly know and understand what Christmas is truly for, then indeed we can celebrate Him everyday. 

 

This can be seen in our words, our attitudes, our actions toward one another and our overall demeanor. As we go deeper into the month of December, let us not forget what is it truly all about. I say this with the greatest level of sincerity. It is not about religion or tradition or ritual or anything else. It is simply a time of reflection of what does all this mean and why does one day a year create such a stir? It is simply because what happened changed the world and such should be recognized. 

 

May all your celebrations, gatherings, or whatever you do be blessed during this special time of year. 

 

Pastor Andy