Written by Brenda Grembowski

Have you ever really thought about what it means to say “Merry Christmas”?  Merry Christmas!  Merry Christmas!  The word “Christmas” comes from the phrase “Christ Mass”, a centuries old tradition where people gather together to celebrate and honor the birth of Jesus Christ.  We say “Merry” Christmas to wish others glad tidings and, most importantly, to spread the good news!

As with every Christmas season, I am thinking about shopping and finding the perfect gifts for all the family and friends on my list.  I am planning how to decorate the house, create a fun Christmas card to share, cook wonderful meals for family gatherings and attend as many holiday festivities as humanly possible.  While all of these things are great to do, and I feel blessed to be able to do them, I find myself wondering, “How am I honoring the birth of Jesus Christ during the holiday season?”.

God loved us so much, He came down to dwell among us through Jesus Christ.  Think about that for a minute.  The Lord God Almighty came down from Paradise to hang out with us.  God came down from what is described as the holiest of places to live in the hot mess that we humans created.  Who would do that for us?  Only God.  The perfect gift of Jesus Christ was given to us to redeem us and for our eternal benefit.  God gave us UNCONDITIONAL LOVE in its purest form.

This is a lot to take in, and it makes me contemplate my gift giving approach.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I love putting presents under the tree and fully intend to enjoy the tradition.  Yet, in thinking about God’s mind-blowing, life altering gift of love to us all, I think that perhaps the best way to honor the birth of Jesus Christ is to pay His gift forward as best as humanly possible.  Can you imagine?

Imagine if we make our gift lists shorter for family and friends and give to those really in need.  Imagine if we worry less about making everything perfect and give the gift of time to others, enjoying fellowship together and meeting new people.  Or an even tougher gift, imagine if we reach out to someone we disagree with and try to find common ground.  Perhaps we seek to understand a person we don’t identify with, and we find acceptance and celebrate the diversity.  Imagine if we look at the world, take strength from all of the good, confess to all of the brokenness, and ask ourselves, “How can I help?”.

As God gave us the perfect gift of Jesus Christ, the power of unconditional love in human form, we can be a gift to others through His service and His grace.  We can be a person willing to put others before ourselves, someone who performs random acts of kindness, practices compassion, and teaches the Gospel through everyday life.  We can be a light for others in His name.  Can you imagine?

A Revolution of Love.  I want to live in that world.  Can you imagine?

In honor of Jesus Christ our Lord, I wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

If you miss any of our daily readings, you can find them archived here. (Readings will be added each day.) We hope these readings will help you encounter God this season!