“He is Our Peace.” Ephesians 2:14 (KJV)
For many, Christmas is the most favorite time of the year. With Christmas comes the hope of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” We exchange cards that reflect our feelings about this special time of the year. Some send cards that speak of the love, joy, and peace of Christmas; others choose cards that extend season’s greetings and happy holidays. With the winding down of Christmas season 2017, I’d like to ask this question? After Christmas, when the tree and trimmings come down, when the gift giving ceases, and the caroling ends, what will you do with Christmas?
What happens to the …
- Unmerited forgiveness and grace extended to irritable neighbors and estranged relationships?
- Abundant care and concern seen in special collections, gifts and other acts of human philanthropy?
- Indiscriminate displays of kindness and brotherly love for others?
Why can’t we keep the spirit of Christmas throughout the year?
First, we must examine “what spirit” we are talking about. Sadly, the spirit of Christmas, we experience, is tied to commercialism, materialism, and greed. It is the result of the “lusts of the eye” (1 John 2:16). However, we who are “in Christ” have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts (Gal 5:24). We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20) extending love and grace throughout the year.
Second, we need to understand the “source” of the spirit of Christmas. For the spirit of Christmas to be lasting, it must be connected to the reason for Christmas—Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life (John 3:16). Christ came that our joy might be full (John 15:11). It is Jesus Christ who is our peace (Eph. 2:14).
Finally, we need to examine the “true gifts” of Christmas. As a result of Christ’s birth, we have eternal life. Eternal life is not only a “time indication” it defines the “quality of
life” for the Christian believer. Eternal life includes His “love”, from which we can never be separated (Rom. 8: 35-39), His unspeakable “joy” (1 Peter 1:8), and His “peace,” that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). And if that isn’t enough, He has given us His presence through the Holy Spirit (John 16:5-15) while He advocates for us before God the Father (1 John 2:1).
The spirit of Christmas is not found in cards, or trees or gifts but in The Gift, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, The Gift that keeps on giving after Christmas—even throughout eternity.
SELAH: Now that Christmas 2017 is past, how will you extend the spirit of Christ into 2018?