People are stressing over getting their decorations up, sending out their Christmas cards, buying their presents, baking their cookies, prepping their food and attending holiday parties. There's this kind of tradition and that kind of tradition. But, what does it all mean? What is the Spirit of Christmas amidst all of this holiday clamor?
For Christians, Christmas honors the birth of Jesus. It is a joyous time to give thanks for God's love and mercy. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus and rejoice in our salvation and God's love and mercy for us.
We commonly think of Christmas and the birth of Jesus as a season of giving, but Christmas is also a season of receiving. Christmas is a time to receive and accept God into our hearts. Christmas is a time to receive God’s mercy, love and grace.
For me, the Spirit of Christmas is receiving God's love and then giving it back out. Love offering itself in it's many varied forms. Love manifesting as giving and generosity. Love manifesting as believing in someone. Love manifesting as giving attention to someone in need. Love manifesting as forgiveness. Love manifesting as gratitude. Love manifesting as compassion for all of humanity.
The Christmas lights, trees, decorations, cards, neatly wrapped gifts and carefully decorated cookies are beautiful and a fun part of the holiday tradition, but the deeper, true meaning and Spirit of Christmas is the important part. May our hearts receive God's love this Christmas and reflect it back out into the world. Wishing you and your loved ones a very joyous and loving Christmas!
This next week I will be enjoying time spent with my family, so I won't be posting a new blog next Tuesday. I'll be back in two weeks to kick off 2017!