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Archive for December 6th, 2017

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As the holly jolly, festive season is in full gingerbread house building swing, some are left asking,

What is the Christmas Spirit,
and how does one get it?

For the Christian it is the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Redeemer. But being a follower of Christ does not mean that we might not feel the spirit of Christmas in the season.

Recently someone stated that, despite watching numerous Christmas movies, they were not feeling the spirit of Christmas.

It got me thinking … (and I love it when something gets me thinking)

What is the Christmas Spirit,
and how does one get it?

Yes, I am a Christ-follower, yet I am not immune to to feelings of humdrum at this time of year. I sought out a favourite Christmas music CD to listen to in my vehicle (or my own private chapel, as I like to think of it), in the hopes of getting into the Christmas spirit, and it was … okay. I brought the tree out of storage, and set lights to it, and it is … pretty. I hung lit (not the Urban dictionary version of lit) boughs over my front door, and a wreath which did make me smile when I came home in the evenings, but …

the question persisted,

What is the Christmas Spirit,
and how does one get it?

When one searches the internet for such answers, the predominant discoveries do, indeed, point to the nativity, the birth of the long-anticipated Jesus. But what if one does not feel it?

I love the words of Peter Marshall:

“So we will not ‘spend’ Christmas nor ‘observe’ Christmas.
We will ‘keep’ Christmas – keep as it is…
in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions.
May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope.” 

His words make me think of another festive quote:

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

What the Grinch, and Peter Marshall know is that we cannot manufacture the Spirit of Christmas, we need to keep it. To keep it is to do. It is to practice it, to not just listen, but to sing the songs of announcement, joy and celebration. It is to, not just hang lights, but to look to the light that came to our world and lives. It is to, not just exchange gifts, but share the gift of hope that God’s gift is to we who have accepted it. It is to, not just watch the seasonal movies, but be moved to bring heaven to Earth for those who have little.

My searching for the feeling of the Spirit of Christmas, rekindled it in my own heart, for it is a feeling that comes from a knowledge and understanding that it comes, it has come, in spite of my actions or feelings. I only need to seek it, and reflect it.

“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message the world has ever heard, or will hear.
…the ‘Christmas spirit’…ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of Him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round.”
J. I. Packer (Knowing God)

 

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