Thanksgiving is over and Advent is upon us. The turkey has disappeared and the last of the pumpkin pie is gone. The Christmas Tree decorations have been pulled out of the closet and preparations are underway for decorating the house. Most likely, you know the type of tree you are going to get and whether or not you will be staying home for Christmas or traveling to see family and friends. Maybe you are the type that takes destination trips this time of the year and just gives Christmas a pass. Regardless of whatever permutation of the above that you use, it is my prayer that it will be one of great joy and peace. It is also my prayer that this Christmas not be devoid of spiritual meaning for you and your family and friends.
With the glitz and noise of Christmas in our society, it is possible to get lost in the piles of money and things that define Christmas for so many. There are a number of ways that different people, groups, and churches have tried to bring meaning back to Christmas:
• Gifts to charities being given in your friend or loved one’s name,
• Limiting the amount of money being spent on every individual,
• Volunteering on Christmas Eve for work at a Soup Kitchen,
• Mission trips to other parts of the world during the Christmas season, and
• Giving to charities that give Christmas gifts to the disadvantaged in our country and throughout the world.
With all the rest of the world telling you how to have fun and be happy, or how to succeed, or to lose weight, I thought that I would give you my unsolicited two cents worth. I have three simple suggestions for how you might find some spirituality, meaning, and peace in Christmas this year:
• Pray for yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your fellow citizens, and for the rest of the world and not simply for stuff. The first step in experiencing spirituality is kneeling.
• Read your Bible. The true meaning of Christmas is spelled out for you there.
• Go to a Christmas Eve service somewhere and afterwards go for a walk or sit quietly by the fire and contemplate the love God has given you in Jesus. It was in a still small voice that Elijah heard God and then saw him walk by. It is in a still small voice that we too can hear God speak to us today and in hearing His voice find the gift of peace that He has offered the world through His Son and by the Holy Spirit.
It is my hope that this Christmas will be enjoyable for you and it is my prayer that you grow spiritually, that you find the meaning of Christmas and consequently, meaning for your life, and that you taste of the peace of Christ for all eternity.
Yours in Christ,