Dec. 10, 2019 The Christmas Spirit - Father Michael's Words to Live By
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’” (Luke 2:13-14)
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS:
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round … as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore … though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
CHRISTMAS: THE SPIRIT OF GIVING:
In her book Especially at Christmas, Celestine Sibley recalled the atmosphere of giving her parents created, especially during the Christmas season. Her mother would continually remind the children that “Things aren’t important, people are.” As packages arrived, she would unwrap them, admire them, then ask the family, “Now who can we give this to?” Thinking back on the spirit of giving that filled her home at Christmas, Sibley said, “No matter what you had or didn’t have in a material way, Christmas stood by itself – glorious and unmatched by anything else that had happened in the history of the world. God himself had come to dwell among us, and with a richness like that to celebrate, who could be so self-centered as to speak of a ‘poor’ Christmas?”
I AM THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT:
I am the Christmas Spirit –
I enter the home of poverty, causing pale faced children to open their eyes wide, in pleased wonder.
I cause the miser’s clutched hand to relax and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the old glad way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets leaving behind hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment on his wild, wasteful way and send to anxious love some little token that releases glad tears – tears which wash away the hard lines of sorrow.
I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred humanity of what might have been and pointing forward to good days yet to be.
I come softly into the still white home of pain, and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways, I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas Spirit! ~ E.C. Baird
AND THIS IS WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT!
The true essence of the “Spirit of Christmas” – is a spirit of GIVING: God first gave Himself; and now, we in turn, can give ourselves in service to others.