I consider that the "holiday season" starts with Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas to New Years. That is an interesting sequence: giving thanks before you get the gift or blessing so that you can put it into action in your life.
I've mentioned in a couple of newsletters that during the Christmas Season many customers who bring in quilts as early as October, opt to allow those with "Christmas projects" to get in front of them in the longarming queue and get those Christmas project done before Christmas.
I mentioned this to someone the other day and he was astounded that anyone would do such a thing: allow someone else, whom they do not know, to cut in line in front of them! He asked what kind of incentive we offered people to do such a thing. I replied "nothing, there is no shop incentive, they just do it." That person was shocked that people would do such a thing without worldly [my word] benefit.
What is a blessing to see such selfless actions. Even more amazing to me is not only did some quilters want to bless others with such an anonymous gift, but that those quilters willing to do so outnumbered those taking advantage of it! Put another way, more people were willing to give than those wanting to receive.
I feel blessed, because I was able to see it happen! It's something you don't see in the world every day. Or, is it, unless you look?
Personally, I am amazed at the quantity of blessings that I receive every day. At the same time I am also amazed at the blessings to others happening all around me that I'm too busy to take note of. It's too easy to get swallowed up in TV, the news cycle, and even social media to have the time to look!
Speaking of unnoticed things, have you ever wondered about the words used at Christmas? Merry, joy, hope, celebrate,.... Or, put another way, "how do you describe things of the soul with words of the world?" Perhaps it's a matter of the words being co-opted by the world into another meaning.
When you sing or hear Christmas carols, pick out the words and ponder their real meaning. "Joy to the World" obviously isn't about the feeling at a Christmas party where people are happy. Happiness is from happenings and joy comes from the hope we have through faith.
I read where the word "merry" in "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" refers to the peace that lightens our burdens due to our trust in God, and not the result of inebriation or other activity. Given that, "Merry Christmas" does not refer to a good time or happiness that the TV ads and most movies portray at Christmastime, but the peacefulness in your heart from the gift you are about to celebrate.
So, I suggest that we look past the world to see the things that are true, but yet unseen.
Many people look at Christmas as being a time for family. A Time when family members, far and wide, can come together in love and acceptance, with their differences overlooked and celebrate their common family connections.
To me Christmas is a time of celebration for the family of God! A time when family members, far and wide, can come together in love, acceptance, and forgiveness because of their common inheritance.
This Christmas we invite you to join with us in celebrating God's gift to us. This gift is given in love, mercy and grace in absolute forgiveness. Let us also share God's love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness with one another, celebrating as one family of God.
Enjoy the blessings of Christmas in your life.