One of the reasons I dread making declarations like, "I'm going to live Christmas every day in 2012" is because that makes me accountable to anyone who happens to read my blog!
Oh, I knew full well I would not live up to even my own expectations, let alone those of anyone else! But part of being a disciple is sharing our shortcomings and failings--both to teach others and to encourage them in their own walk.
A dear friend has something frightening happen to her, another friend grieves over the loss of a loved one; An acquaintance shares a terrible tragedy they have lived through; the pain, suffering, grief, hardship and struggle just goes on and on and on. I'm not lamenting, really . . . just observing and commenting.
These situations become a problem for me when I begin to pile one on top of another, when I begin to make them pebbles on the path, then more challenges occur - to me and to others - and they become stones, boulders, then mountains! My acts of kindness -- praying for others, providing a listening ear, a caring heart are a matter of course. That's the easy part. The challenge to is live Christmas through it all.
It's all too easy to forget about the baby in a manger, the star, the shepherd and the angels . . . the journey to Bethlehem and yes, even the Cross when so many are in pain, are suffering, are hopeless. But remember we must! compared to the Cross . . . life's hurdles pale . . . compared to the journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem, not knowing how it would all turn out . . . life is not so hard.
Fortunately I catch myself when I stumble on a pebble, stone or boulder. I remember the baby and the angels and the star. I remember most of all that God chose to take on human form and walk among us! Angels sang! They came down from heaven to announce the Savior!
Living Christmas every day is not easy to do. But if I remember my goal . . . and the reason behind it . . . life is a little easier to live and the troubles of this world are easier to bear . . . because this is not our home. We are only travelers here on the journey to eternity.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).
Blessings on your journey,