Christmas 2016 is now just a memory as it has passed into the past. The family has come and gone. The feast has been prepared and eaten and now we will be eating leftovers for a while. The pile of gifts that were so cute wrapped and waiting to be open under the beautiful Christmas tree are now gone. Santa brought his presents and even he is gone. The gifts received have been put away or placed in their permanent place among my bookshelves. Yes, Christmas 2016 is in the books. And yet I feel that Christmas is not over at all. When I think about what Christmas is and what Christmas means to me, it is not over….no, it is here forever on into eternity.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14, (New International Version or NIV).
Jesus was here when the earth was formed because He is the Word and the Word was with God from the very beginning. Jesus came after John the Baptist paved the way for His coming. Jesus was born and walked among the people of the earth and then died taking the sins of all into Himself and then rose as the first-born from the chains of death. We who love Him, honor Him, and follow Him will always have Christmas in our heart every day of the year! So how do we proceed in a perpetual celebration of Christmas every day in life? There are some really good examples written by the Apostle John in another book of his.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:1-21, (NIV).
I will pack away the Christmas decorations and take down the Christmas tree. I will eventually finish all the Christmas candies and cookies and make soup from the left-over turkey and vegetables. I will return my house to normal and our regular schedule will return. My son will go back to school and life will go back to normal. But I will also keep Christmas in my heart praising God that He is my Father and that Jesus is my King as well as my Brother. I will spend another year learning more and more about the goodness of God and the joy of my salvation through Jesus Christ. I will keep being the best person I know how to be and I will look forward to another Christmas season if God allows me another year of life on this big blue planet. Why will I do all of this? Because I know that with every problem that comes in 2017, with every set-back that happens and with every down moment that eventually will try to bring me down, I will remember that the birth of my Savior brought about the revolution going on inside of me. I am being renewed, changed, and completed for a higher purpose than I can ever understand with my human mind. I will make it, I will see things through, not because I am strong but because the One whom I serve has enough power to give me all the strength that I need and gives it freely and with love. Now that is reason to celebrate, don’t you think?
Until next time…Katherine