Faith Reflections

Christmas Year Round

A confession: A few years ago I started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Don’t hurl snowballs at me. I wait as long as I can, but I never last until after the fourth Thursday in November.

I adore Christmas. I love decorations and twinkling lights. I delight in music and holiday food. I have a real obsession/addiction with Hallmark movies. December is my jam. But it’s easy for me to camp in the shallow end of the holiday, missing what I really love about the season.

More than other times of the year, I believe Christmas finds us closest to living the way Jesus calls us to live. Despite the holiday commercialism, people tend to be more generous in time and resources, giving to causes and serving their neighbors. We tend to be more thoughtful of others and cherish special moments with family. There seems to be more hope, peace, joy, and goodwill – not in fullness but more than other months.

So, if we can glimpse this and live this for a few weeks, isn’t it possible we could live this way at other times of the year? Couldn’t the way of Christ become our way of living long after Advent ends?

As we line up in January to return gifts unwanted or unneeded, may there be one thing we don’t return – the gift of Jesus Christ who dwelt among us, teaching us how to love and live the other 364 days of the year.

This devotion first appeared as part of the 2018 First Baptist Church Advent Devotion book.

 My beautiful Christmas stocking made by my mom when I was a baby. I hang it every year and while it may look empty to some folks, it is always full of a mother’s love.

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