Faith Column: Thinking of a Merry Christmas
December 19, 2014
"Merry Christmas" is a phrase that easily slips off of our tongue just about every day during this glorious time of year. Let's take a moment out of our hectic, high-paced day, make a cup of cocoa or pour some eggnog for ourselves and sit still for a few minutes. Let's ponder what each of us actually mean when we say, "Have a merry Christmas."
Our society often focuses on the social side of Christmas. Busy as beavers, we rush though our day. We are trying to accomplish all of the holiday things we feel we have to do: shopping for others, visiting, cooking, decorating and even going to special church services — these all must be packed in tightly so we have a "merry" Christmas. But do these things really make us merry? If we are being truthful with ourselves as we ponder over it, aren't we really just a bit more cranky and impatient? What's so merry about that? And when we wish someone a merry Christmas, are we wishing this on them?
Our society also tends to focus on the commercial side of Christmas. Standing in line on Black Friday (even the name sounds ominous), spending hours shopping online or at the store hunting for the things that will be the perfect gift for someone on your list. Does this make you merry? Once again, some honest reflection will probably reveal that most of us are spending too much money or are frustrated that we can't find what we want to buy. Is this what we are wishing on others when we say, "Merry Christmas?"
I don't mean to sound negative. There are some great things going on now, too. There is more love being shown. Helping the less fortunate, parties with the children at school, singing carols, fellowship with loved-ones and remembering friends and family with those little gifts and cards. Is this what we mean when we say, "Have a Merry Christmas?" I think we are headed in the right direction.
This is the time of year that we remember and thank God for loving us enough to send salvation down to Earth, as a free gift to all humankind, in the form of a humble baby. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…" (John 3:16).
My heart swells with joy and at the same time I feel humble just thinking about that unconditional love. I know that pondering on that gift, wrapped up in the body of a little baby, helps to realign my thinking so I can focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I think that if each of us will spend a few moments each day remembering that, then when we wish someone a merry Christmas, we will be wishing them the true meaning of the phrase. I wish you a "merry Christmas."
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Pat Jones is the executive director of Love INC in Craig.