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Christmas tree with presents and fireplace with stockings --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisFor God so loved the world. . . ”  John 3:16

This old familiar scripture verse defines Christmas and why we celebrate.

Christmas is filled with time commitments adding to an already hectic schedule as we make mad dashes to the store for last minute presents.

Our “have to” lists are often long and burdensome. Our love list, on the other hand, is filled with happiness and anticipation as we purchase items we sincerely believe will bring pleasure to someone we love. Both lists are necessary. The one fulfills a sense of duty and propriety – the other fills our heart with joy.

Christmas is about love

Christmas is not about Christmas trees or lights or presents under the tree although these are important. It’s about remembrance and celebration. It is about God and the love He gives us – a love that never dies, never tires, never burns out – a love freely given with the hope that as we accept it, our lives will be forever changed and transformed.

St. Paul articulated that transforming love when he wrote to the Corinthians centuries ago. The words and their message are ageless, true and appropriate for any time in history.

Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful, arrogant or rude. It doesn’t insist on it’s our own way and is not irritable or resentful and does not take pleasure in things that are wrong. Love hopes all things and endures all things.

The gift of love is wrapped within the swaddling clothes of a tiny infant who would grow up and sacrifice his life so we can have hope and salvation. If we take God’s love and gift to us out of the season of Christmas, we are left with shallow rituals that give us a spike in pleasure before dumping us back into the dull routines of life.

But like any gift, if it is left forgotten and unwrapped under the tree we will not experience the joy, anticipation and love attached to it.

May you experience hope, love and joy this Christmas.

Marlene Anderson





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