Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
If you ask anyone when Christmas is they will say December 25th. The day when smiles are easy to give and there is common ground to start a conversation with almost any stranger, Christian or not. Not everyone experiences this great joy and love-sharing feeling, but I will venture to say the majority of us do. I’m not going to say we forget the reason for Christmas because we are reminded of the story every year. I am wondering what would be different if every day was treated as Christmas. Maybe this is also a common theme: why are you rushing around? Love people now. But just taking another minute out of life with me to picture the difference this life change could make…going to bed at night excited to fall asleep knowing that you will be waking up to a wonderful day, putting aside work for a full 24 hours in order to be with the people who matter most, having your eyes opened to the blessings in your life.
I cannot say every Christmas will be a picture-perfect one or that every day can be easily treated with such joy, but why don’t we try? Why are we so anxious for that one day when we can easily rejoice in God and spread God’s love? “The Lord is at hand.” Not just on Christmas, but every day of every year. Let’s allow our gentleness to be known to man. And every time we feel anxious for the joys of the future, let’s ask ourselves, why not rejoice right now? If you have time to pull up a YouTube music video, search through your iTunes, or pull out your Christmas CD collection, I recommend you listen to a song that captures this idea, Celine Dion, Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day:
Don’t get so busy that you miss
Giving just a little kiss
To the ones you love
Don’t even wait a little while
To give them a little smile
A little is enough
How could you wait another minute?
A hug is warmer when you’re in it
And that’s a fact
And saying “I love you” is always better
Seasons, reasons, they don’t matter
So don’t hold back
How many people in this world
So needful in this world
How many people are praying for love?
Loving God, thank you for showing us what love is. Help us to celebrate and share your love with everyone, not just one day of the year, but every day. Amen.
–may the Spirit move through the words of Anna Zoerner