Several inches of snow in early December, unusual for south-central Pennsylvania, brought a smile to my friend’s face. “It makes me think of a white Christmas,” she explained with a grin.
But if that same snowfall came in mid-February, she would be grousing, for sure. The spirit of Christmas causes us to be happy with a little snow in December, even though a good portion of people totally despise winter the rest of the season. (Of course, the current blizzard that is gridlocking Christmas travel around the country, it’s hard for anyone to like snow, isn’t it?)
In the same way, Christmas alters our attitudes towards one another, if just for a time. As a people we become less belligerent, less selfish, and more understanding, more generous, more concerned about the problems of others. Our Lord’s coming into the world signaled God’s solidarity with human beings, the fragile, pig-headed and fallen race that we are. Christmas provides hope and joy in the midst of our deepest problems and pain.
Then, of course, on Dec. 26, it’s back to the same old hatreds, distrusts and prejudices, just as it’s back to hating even mildly winter weather.
The challenge for Christians is to live in the spirit of Christmas the rest of the year through. God’s message in Christ doesn’t end with the Christmas season. It only starts with Christmas. Let the love of Christ grow in us, as the Christ-child grew and revealed the fullness of God’s love to us.
(Published December 22, 2008)
Copyright (c) 2008, the Rev. Rob Blezard. All rights reserved.
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