I love Christmas! I say that every year, but it continues to be true. Through the years, through the changes in tradition, through the loss of family members and the birth of new babies, the Christmas Season remains my favorite time. My heart is filled with joy and overflows with love to those around me. I rededicate myself to showing my family and friends how much I love them. I find pleasure in shopping, wrapping, and giving gifts that will bring smiles to the faces I love. I enjoy the different foods we eat—yes, sweets and all! I enjoy baking, decorating the house, and setting the table. All these simple pleasures bring me joy because I’m doing them for those I love and that focus provides purpose for my days. Love and purpose bring me joy!
Are you experiencing the joy of the season? If not, examine your heart and see what’s motivating it. For many families, gatherings can be stressful instead of joyful because people harbor old resentments that are hard to release.
But Jesus came for the purpose of ridding us of those old resentments. Jesus came to show us TRUE love. He Himself gave up His place in heaven to come to us. He did not hold on to resentment because we were away from Him and His perfect plan. He found a way to bridge the gap through love. Because of His love for us, He forgives us for our wrongdoing when we ask Him. When we are forgiven, we find freedom.
But Jesus asks us to extend forgiveness to others. He wants us to lt go of hurts and resentment. Why? Because He wants us to be happy, and we cannot be happy when we are in conflict with others. It robs us of our peace. If you cannot forgive others for their sake, do it for yourself. Let peace, love, and joy be the present you give yourself. Choose forgiveness, even if you don’t feel like it. Your feelings will follow your actions.
Be a light and an instrument of peace. Begin the holiday season and the New Year with a heart that is free to love. Allow Jesus to fill you with His love and embrace the joy that comes in knowing Him. Embrace the Reason for the Season.
Merry Christmas to you all.