Published December 18, 2013
As a child that loved music and singing, I always looked forward to the joyful season of Christmas because I enjoyed singing Christmas carols like Deck The Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, but my favorite Christmas song has always been Johnny Mathis singing, "The Secret of Christmas."
The lyrics of the song helped to cement the wise teachings of scripture about the reason for the season; to love and honor God with all my being and to love my neighbor as myself.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas can make us focus on meeting the self-imposed deadline demands of getting the right present for the right person.
We can get overwhelmed and overworked because of the constant commercialization and retail marketing of business seeking to make big profits during the biggest shopping season in our economy.
I am never against companies desiring to make the best profit they can earn. Their revenue can lead to greater employment opportunities for Americans in desperate need of work.
A good job can lead to the well being of an family. And that is always a good thing for the family, the economy and the nation.
But it’s also good to remember how special Christmas can be.
What concerns me is how some of us have forgotten the essence of the season. Have we lost sight of how Christmas is more than toys for girls and boys? Have we lost the passion in knowing that Christmas is a feeling in our heart?
Christmas is centered on those elements of faith, hope and love. It is a time that stirs up our goodwill toward each other. It’s as if the spirit of the season gives us a license to be of good cheer, to be pleasant, to smile, to share random acts of kindness with loved ones, friends and strangers.
Of course Christmas can also be a time of great tragedy. We find the world is most unkind when we look for it to be kinder and gentler.
War, poverty, violence and heartbreak steals our joy, maligns our trust, and hardens our heart towards fully embracing and enjoying the spirit of Christmas.
Then there are other stress fractures that consume us such as unresolved issues with loved ones or friends. Past hurts and failures are like fissures in the core of our soul that cause tremors and quakes that often erupt and disrupt the comfort and joy of the Christmas season.
We often use the joyful spirit of the Christmas season as a reason to try mending friendships that have been broken, repair severed ties with loved ones due to conflict and pain from some hurtful experience in our past, or we use the time to turn over a new leaf to build a new life out of the mistakes we have made.
For some of us, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year due to the fear of rejection or the failure to forgive those who have offended us.
Bitterness kills, forgiveness heals.
Let the joy of Christmas become a feeling in your heart. Allow it to penetrate deeply into your soul with the knowledge that Christ our blessed savior was born on Christmas Day. May this holy time of Christmas overcome our trouble and sadness with tidings of comfort and joy.
The spirit of Christmas has a way of penetrating the calloused heart of the most hardened Scrooge and invading them with the tenderness of goodness and grace in place of harshness and hate.
The joyful spirit of Christmas begs the question; why can't we have Christmas every day? Why is it so hard for us to show random acts of kindness throughout the year? Why do we lose Christmas cheer the moment Christmas Day is no longer here for another year?
I keep ruminating over the lyrics of the song, “The Secret of Christmas,” humming it in my mind; “the little gift you send on Christmas Day will not bring back the friend you've turned away. So may I suggest the secret of Christmas, it's not the things you do at Christmastime but the Christmas things you do all year through.”