So, Christmas is over for a lot of people, and they're off hitting the post-holiday sales. I have nothing against bargains (I love 'em, actually), but I continue to disdain--and to avoid when possible--the over-commercialization of the holidays. What so many people do not realize is that...
...Christmas is not over! It is only the third day of Christmas. Christians have spent Advent in preparation of the birth of Jesus. He has arrived! Did the wise men make that whole trip just to turn around and go back home?
On Christmas Eve I went to church, as I have every year, to hear the story that I've heard so many times. But, there is a reason that it's the greatest story ever told. On the back of the church bulletin, there was a question posed...something like "Where are you in the Christmas story?" It asked if I viewed it from afar, if I was hearing it for the first time, or if I was in it. As I listened to my pastor, I put myself in the stable. I felt the straw digging into my knees. I smelled the manure. And I looked on in awe of the baby Jesus. Pure Peace. I felt a comfort different than the comfort I've felt in previous years hearing the Christmas story.
This past Christmas day was one of the most peaceful and loveliest that I can remember. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but this one just had an added feeling of wonder that I haven't felt for a while. I'm still in that stable; I'm still in awe of Jesus. I'm at peace.
Peace on Earth. Goodwill toward all people. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope this holiday finds you with your own bit of peace and goodwill, even if you're in a place where there is not peace. I hope you can still have peace in your heart...all year long. Christmas peace is meant to last much more than just one day a year.