Colossians 3:12-17 —

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

from Rae Browning, First Christian Church, Cumberland, MD

This time of year is truly a blessed time of year; if only the season of Christmas was as apparent all year long.  Oh, I don’t mean the season of hustle and bustle, buying and baking (haven’t lost all the results of last Christmas baking), decorating of homes, etc.

As a child, I remember hearing my parents speak of my uncles overseas during the war, and that the war was on hold for Christmas day. All firing and battle had ceased so peace could be observed for that one day for our troops. Peace on Earth and Good Will to All.

Christmas season “can” be apparent all through the year if we but follow the Word. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

I can attest when someone causes you a deep pain that sucks the life out of you, it holds you hostage. That’s the time to call on God, and learn what “life” really is. I learned forgiving is not placing one’s self in harm’s way to be trampled on over and over, again and again, but calling on the love of Christ that sets us free.  In doing so, there is a whole new way of living ahead.  Then one can really know what living is all about and can truly say, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”

Then and only then, is Christmas year round and celebration of the season is followed as doing “all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

May Christmas be apparent all year long, O God,

not just for a  day, and may your love and peace

 fill our lives throughout the year.

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