Joy of The Season

               Thanksgiving is over and the official Christmas season is upon us. I’m not going to bemoan the secularization of the holiday; we live in a carnal world and we can expect no less.  There is a lot that Christians have to endure…coffee cups with non-Christian messages, store employees saying “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, even Holiday Trees instead of Christmas Trees. But I am determined to not let those things diminish my joy of the season. I know what and why I celebrate. I will enjoy this season because of the festivities, decorations, the excitement in the air, and all the family things, but I will genuinely love the church activities where we unashamedly celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.
                There will be opportunities to publicly express our faith as we celebrate Christmas. Whether it be with our Christmas attire, magnets on our vehicles, or merely responding to the “happy holidays” with a hearty “Merry Christmas”, we can gently remind people of the true reason for the season. But also, I want to challenge you to look for opportunities to help and give God the glory. This is a solid month of financial problems, frazzled nerves, tired bodies, and frustrated attitudes. So…adjust your attitude. Be purposeful and intentional in smiling, encouraging, and helping; always look for a situation where you can remind people that you love them because God loves them.
                A couple of weeks ago I was at a convenience store near the house and an elderly man in front of me told the clerk he wanted five dollars on pump eight. Five dollars. That is barely two gallons of gas. I knew I had a five dollar bill in my pocket so I took it out and told the clerk to make it ten at pump eight. When he turned to thank me, he was smiling broadly (I was surprised at what a huge smile five bucks can buy!). I told him to give God the glory and have a blessed day.
                It’s not about money, though. Sometimes it’s just a kind word or action. Sympathize with the cashier’s long and tiring day. Call him or her by name and let them know you understand their hard day. Tell them you will pray for them (and do pray for them). Be kind to the tired parents whose excited children are behaving like little….well…excited children. The more that people see Christ at work in you, the more they will be drawn to the One who makes a difference in you! In the name of Jesus try to make someone’s day a little better.
Say good things about your Savior.
Bro. Tony