It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year All Year...

it’s almost Christmas. Can you believe it?!?! I love this time of year. The caroling, the gift-giving, the baking, the movies… I want to take time off work to just Fa-La-La! I wait all year long for this holiday. This is the holiday we, as Christians, should be preparing for the entire year. Not in the decorating, baking and shopping, but in the serving and loving. But are we?

I recently spoke with the Director of a local charitable organization about the number of children and families they assist in my town. It broke my heart. 150 families are fed by them monthly. This year, 61 children were signed up on their Christmas blessing list (similar to Salvation Army’s Angel Tree). Another 60+ were signed up through Secret Santa in our town. That’s almost 130 kids that weren’t going to have much on Christmas morning to open. Yes, I know, that’s not what Christmas is about…but… How does that not touch you in some way? Thankfully, they were fully sponsored. His office was filled with garbage bags loaded with presents. There were bags of coats, candy and blankets scattered throughout. I saw three bikes in the mix. It’s these moments that truly do make it feel like the most wonderful time of the year…But what about after Christmas? Unfortunately, those families don’t simply overcome their need. Those children inevitably need more than the few clothes they received from the strangers that purchased them. Where are we Christians after Christmas?

It's these thoughts that cause my emotions to run rampant this time of year. I think of the senior citizens that have no family that come to visit them. I think of the people that will spend the holiday alone; the children that won’t get any gifts; the people that won’t get a special dinner (if they even get a dinner); the animals in the shelters; the children waiting for foster or adopted parents…sadly, the list goes on…

Jesus is the reason we celebrate this season, but there’s a reason for you after the season. God placed all of us here for a reason. (Jeremiah 29:11) Do you know what your reason is? If you have a song, sing it; if you have a gift, give it; if you have a prayer, pray it. (1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Peter 4:10)

Last month’s holiday [should have] humbled us by our blessings and filled us with gratitude; now is the time to be a blessing and fill others with gratitude. But don’t just stop on December 25. Continue into the New Year and beyond. It’s about the love of Christ, Christians, at Christmas…

Philippians 2:1-18
Be Like Christ
1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.