Christmas Eve, 2014
I must confess, the cold, gray days of winter are my least favorite. I’ve always been prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so the short, often sun-obscured days can really get me down at times. But the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s provide a remarkable reprieve from my usual winter blues, mostly because of the spirit these holidays inevitably engender.
Christmas is the time Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus and the message of hope, joy, and love he came to bring to those of open heart and “good will.” His message is profoundly simple, but our nature and the character of the world we’ve fashioned for ourselves being what they are, it’s a most difficult one to fully and firmly embrace. And it’s a message that can be all-too-easily forgotten (even abandoned altogether) when circumstances put our faith to the test (which is why I felt inspired to write The Judas Syndrome). So I pray that this Christmas, those of us who claim to be followers of the Christ will take time to remember and reflect upon his promise and his prescription for making that promise a reality: There will be peace on earth when each of us loves the author of life with our whole mind, heart, and strength and demonstrate that love by the manner in which we treat ourselves and others.
Many of us depart from our daily Scrooge-like ways to love just a little better over the holidays, and doing so inevitably brings us joy and for a time makes the world a better place. But it doesn’t take long for us to get back to business as usual. So here’s my Christmas wish for those who profess to believe: Let’s go beyond merely advocating for putting Christ back into Christmas. Rather, let us – each and every one of us – (and I know this necessarily means starting with me) “prepare room” in our hearts for him and his message, thereby making each and every day a celebration of his coming, and giving us the inspiration and courage to bring the joy of his promise into the lives of everyone we touch.