Happy December! There is something so inspiring about a new month. The fall months arrived with their glory, cooler weather and warm feelings of gratitude. Now we are embracing December!
Early December is the time to set the tone for the holidays. If we enter in the season frantic, that hectic pace will keep us in a spirit of panic, stress and quickly rob our holiday joy. But, if our attention is turned to focus on the true spirit of Christmas, our hearts tend to be more joyful, caring, giving and loving.
Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. There is an attitude (if you look for it) in others that binds our hearts together as we behold the wonder of the season.
This month I began a Christmas devotional "The First Songs of Christmas". It is a 30 day advent devotional that focuses on meditations from Luke 1 and 2. Some of the readings are just too good not to share.
Luke 1:43 is the account of the virgin Mary, having heard she was pregnant, quickly visiting her cousin Elizabeth. Here is Elizabeth's greeting to Mary... "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Elizabeth had her own amazing situation going on in her own life. She was older and considered barren - unable to have children. An angel announced to her husband that she would bear a child. He was struck dumb - unable to talk due to his disbelief. Read her story in Luke 1. Imagine Elizabeth living in a home of silence when Mary appeared at her door. Most women would be busting out, ready to share what as going on in situations like this. But look where she turned her attention...to Mary. Elizabeth humbled herself and recognized the work in Mary's life and placed priority on meeting Mary's needs before her own. Elizabeth seemed to notice Mary needed love, reassurance and encouragement. She also understood the baby in Mary's womb was (and is) Christ the Lord. Elizabeth again demonstrated humility and declared Him, her Lord.
Some age old advice passed through the ages is “When you’re with other people, ask them questions about themselves.” Not only is this an acknowledgement that people are usually more interested in talking about their own lives than ours, it’s really just a demonstration of love. Love is concerned about the other person first. Love focuses outward.
As we enter this season, may we be reminded that God has placed His Holy Spirit inside His children to lead, counsel and show us words to say. His presence should affect the way we talk - to our family, friends, co-workers and store clerks. May our words and attitude be like Elizabeth's, gracious and life giving. May God employ our words this holiday season to bless those around us.
Merry Christmas, it's not just something we say, it's a way we live that spreads Christmas joy!