This is the beginning of advent and of the Christmas season. It is a reminder to us to have faith and in the difference one person can make in the lives of many. Miracles are disguised in simplicity. In a baby born in a manger. A child growing up in a loving home of a carpenter and his wife.
It was not a life free of difficulties but filled with faith and obedience to God. Through example we were shown the power of love, commitment and sacrifice. God so loved the world, and all of us, He gave us His most precious gift of redemption.
This is the season to give to others in abundance, from the heart. Not in things with a high price-tag ; but in time, service, generosity, sharing, thoughtfulness, in reaching out. It is the time for forgiveness. For putting aside grievances and in opening our hearts and our homes.
It is the time when memories and traditions are made. It is a time for family and friends. It is not about who got or gave the best gift but the love we shared. Take time to pray, to be thankful and thoughtful of others. To remember the true meaning of the season.
To do for others as you wish others would do for you. To not neglect a kindness or a smile. To remember "peace on earth, good will toward men". Gifts are symbols of the wise men not the meaning of Christmas. Santa too is a symbol of giving that we should remember.
He too is not about the gift but the giving. Advent is a good time to reassess our lives and what has the greatest meaning to us. To show our love. To take time to be in touch. To listen, to slow down and see the beauty of the world, the needs of others, and the greater meaning of the season.
To not take Christ out of Christmas but to remember He is the central part of the celebration. His birth. His purpose. His sacrifice and His great love. What is the best way to honor His life? Make the season a time of joy. Follow the star, it lights the way.