2009-12-22 - Christmas Shoes
First I would like to say that I know that some of you are going through difficulties - financial, emotional and other problems. Please know that we at CF Devotionals are praying, and we understand. I myself lost my mother last year, and holidays were bittersweet. At some time or other, we all go through difficult holidays - and we want you to know that we care about each one of you, whether those we correspond with, or those we have never heard from.
This time of year, we inevitably hear a lot of criticism about the hubbub of Christmas celebrations etc. And I understand people's valid concern that we remember that our primary focus should be the birth of our Savior. However, I don't believe that Christ minds that we make "fuss" this time of year. And in fact, I think this season generally brings out the good in most people. During the Christmas season, there are probably more food and gift drives than at any other time of year. I think Christ must be delighted that we are feeding the hungry and sharing with those less well off financially - just as our Lord taught us to do.
The "trappings" of the season - lights, decorations, holiday clothing - all are used by God to bless people. Just one personal example: I have a pair of "Christmas shoes" that I wear every chance I get, each December. They are shiny and festive, with the colors of the season. Some would look down their noses at me, criticizing me for being "materialistic" in buying them. But time after time, folks have told me how these shoes put smiles on the faces and hearts, and, brightened up their days. I receive dozens of comments on them every time I wear them. And always, there are smiles and giggles abounding. Encouraging, lifting up people - just as our Lord taught us to do.
Even though I collect Christmas music (I have about 50 diverse CDs), I can't even imagine how many different Christmas songs there are out there, from classical to traditional (Gene Autry/Bing Crosby et al) to modern. Isn't it wonderful, the diversity that God has given us in the many musical styles? Isn't the harmony beautiful? Every single person who sings or plays an instrument well, is gifted by God to do so. Enjoying the music of the season - what a wonderful way to praise God for the musical gifts he has given us. Praising him - just as our Lord taught us to do.
I have heard it said that we shouldn't "waste" our time trying to pick out just the right gift for someone. We should feel sympathy for people whose hearts are so hard and closed, that they can find something wrong with thinking of others (as both Jesus and Paul told us to do), and putting our hearts into buying something they will find special, as an expression of our love - or putting a lot of effort into buying a special gift for someone we may not even know, but who doesn't get many presents - being a friend to the friendless - as our Lord taught us to do.
If you have been fretting about enjoying the holidays too much (and I know some who do), relax; it's really okay to "make a fuss!" I challenge you to soak up every moment of the holiday season, and see it all through the eyes of love for God and His people, and celebration of the lives He has given us - both eternal, and also every moment of this present one.
I hope each of you has a meaningful Christmas.