As I write this, there is just one more week left in 2016. I know that almost every year it seems that the year passes by much too quickly. However, this year it really went by fast, including the Advent and Christmas season. Christmas always seems to bring out the best in people, doesn’t it? The joy, the music, the generosity: but why does all that have to be limited to one season of the year?!
In the comic strip “Peanuts,” Charlie Brown says: “Why can’t we keep the spirit of Christmas every day, all year?” To which the ever practical (and worldly) Lucy replies: “What are you, some kind of fanatic!” To the much of world it might be fanatical to keep the spirit of Christmas – love, joy, peace, and good will to all – every day, all year long. But for those of us who follow Jesus, Christmas needs to be celebrated not just on one day, or for twelve days, but every day! Maybe we need to be a little more fanatical and spread the good news of Emmanuel – God with us, and what that means, in all that we say and all that we do. I’m sure you will agree that the world needs more joy, hope, peace and good will every day of the year.
As we begin another year with all its uncertainty and all its potential, let’s be more fanatical about keeping the Spirit of Christmas in our lives and the lives we touch. In the poem, “Christmas in the Heart,” author Henry Van Dyke puts it beautifully when he writes:
Ah Saviour dear! Thou Holy Child,
What power is thine to heal
Our broken hearts, our wills, defiled,
When at thy feet we kneel.
Grant us thy grace no more to roam,
But, following thee alway,
Find Bethlehem in every home,
The whole year Christmas Day.
A blessed and Happy New Year to all!
Grace, Peace, and Love,