Christmas is right around the corner, and people are excited to start the holiday season, myself included. I really enjoy this special time of the year. I love visiting with family, singing Christmas carols, seeing the decorations and witnessing the joy and excitement in the eyes of children.
As a part of our celebration this year, Gloria and I joined our son and his family for a candlelight tour of the Biltmore House in Asheville, which was built in 1895 by business tycoon George Vanderbilt II. It would be difficult for someone to surpass the splendor and beauty of holiday decorations in this mansion.
When you observe the lavish expenditures that some individuals make on celebrating Christmas, along with the expensive gifts to family and friends, do you ever wonder if they find true happiness during this special time of the year?
At times, when I speak to groups during the Christmas season, I invite them to share their favorite memories of past Christmas seasons. Most often, they want to talk about their time with loved ones and things they did together during this holiday season. It is almost rare that someone in the group talks about a special object or present they received. However, they do like to recall special church services and times of worship at home with those they love.
Christmas is special because it reminds us of eternal life and eternal hope that we have in Christ. Your church probably has special Christmas programs, activities or services that you could invite your family, friends and neighbors to attend. According to surveys, eight out of 10 unchurched people have indicated that they would attend church if someone invited them, yet it’s been estimated only 2 percent of Christians invite someone to church. People are more open to attend church at Christmastime, so why not use this season to be intentional in our witness for Christ?
While Christmas is a season of joy and celebration, let us also remember that many people all around us are hurting and experiencing many different difficulties and hardships.
Many individuals in our state are still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Florence, while others will have an empty seat at the table due to the loss of a loved one and feel lonely. Perhaps God may give you the opportunity to help someone in need this Christmas season and share Christ’s love with him or her. Another wonderful gift could be taking time to visit with someone who needs your presence.
Enjoy this holiday season and celebrate the presence of the Christ child through the person of the Holy Spirit who is God with us no matter the circumstances we face in life. Celebrate our assurance that He is coming again so that where He is, we can be with Him.
“Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them” – Luke 2:20 (NKJV).