08 January, 2019

Keeping Christmas

The view has changed from my seat; every evening I sit in this very spot to read or plan tomorrow's activities. I sit quietly and count my blessings. In one day the view has changed dramatically. This reminds me of a children's puzzle page where one is asked to spot and circle the differences in the two pictures. Despite the visual differences I pray that my heart and mind will keep Christmas in full view, each and every day of this new year! I am reminded of the following mini-sermon by Henry Van Dyke. I am willing, with God's help and guidance may it be so.

ROMANS 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord.

Keeping Christmas

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.
Are you willing...
  • to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
  • to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
  • to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
  • to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
  • to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life;
  • to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing...
  • to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;
  • to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old;
  • to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;
  • to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
  • to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;
  • to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;
  • to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—
Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing...
  • to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—
  • stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—
  • and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?
Then you can keep Christmas.
And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone. 

Life is Good!


quiltkeemosabe said...

The 5th bullet point of the little meditation is what It's a Wonderful Life is all about! So glad you have now seen that movie!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Lovely post -- much food for thought.

Diane said...

What a lovely post! I miss the sacredness of Christmas in our secular culture. These are all good reminders of the
'reason for the season."

cityquilter grace said...

wise words and excellent post....bit of an ouch factor for this recovering pharisee...

Lindah said...

Thank you for those wise words. Much to think about. And carry thru the months ahead.

Patty Nordahl said...

An inspiration and food for thought. May I copy it for my personal reference? TiA