Celebrate Christmas! (2)
The word holiday comes from the Old English word haligdæg, which means ‘holy day’. But today, overindulgence and overspending have become associated with Christmas, making some Christians hesitant to celebrate. Jack Hayford writes: ‘Often it is from those newly associated with our fellowship who have allowed themselves – perhaps for the first time – to enter into the wonder and fullness of Christmas joy and celebration…Christmas is more than merely “merry”. Christmas is mighty. Celebration – unfettered enjoyment, love…laughter…gifts and giving, trees and tinsel,…carols and bells…all of it – has an inherent potential for mightiness. The qualifying factor is the presence of the Holy Spirit. When He is present, the accoutrements of Christmas…can bless, strengthen, heal, [and] restore…When He is absent, carols ring hollow. Greetings, wishes and smiles lie on the surface, like glitter glued on a flat card. Lights and decorations…can leave the heart more desolate than ever. But where the Holy Spirit is there is power…to change entrenched habits…transform cold hearts…grudges and expectations…lift lives out of the shadow…This Christmas, let Him come upon you. Welcome the…Holy Spirit…to move upon your life, and then make your own move…into the season’s best opportunities to bask in the wonder of it all…Reach out to those around: encourage, bless, bake, give, visit, invite, share, and lift hearts wherever you can. By…New Year…you’ll find Christmas to…have been marvellously, and even miraculously, mighty.’ However we choose to celebrate Christmas, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of it, and watch expectantly for God to move in mighty ways.
In the days between Christmas and New Year, try each day to reach out to a friend or neighbour who’s struggling this Christmas. You could call them for a chat, invite them round for coffee, bake them a cake, offer to pray with them…there are so many things we can do to help lift one another's spirits!
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