Life At Its Best: A call to Christmas joy

Jim Graff

By Jim GraffI'm one of those people who crave Christmas. I love everything about it - the music, the lights and of course, the food. I'm kind of like the little boy who got so excited while opening gifts he exclaimed, "This is great! I hope Mary and Joseph have a baby every year."

As I've gotten older, however, I've realized what it is about the holiday season that I really love. It's not simply the lights or the gifts or even the food. It's the joy that I experience during this time of year. It's the love and peace I feel when I'm surrounded by those I care about as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

But though I may personally believe it's the best time of the year, I'm not naive. I recognize that not everyone experiences this joy. Sure, they've probably heard of it. Maybe they've even sung about it. But do they really know it? Has it taken root in their hearts?

That's where we come in. As Christians, God has called us to act in a way that helps people to understand the power of the Christmas message. He has called us to celebrate it in a way that causes them to recognize that this good news is the greatest news that has ever been announced to mankind. And it's not just for a few people - it's for everyone.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the life of a real person, with a real place in history, who demonstrated a real passion for people when He came to earth. That's why He put on such an amazing production that first Christmas night - it was our call to Christmas joy.

Isaiah 60:2 says, "Darkness now covers the earth; deep darkness covers her people. But the Lord shines on you, and people see his glory around you."

Can you imagine standing on a hillside in the dark of night and all of a sudden, a choir of angels appears singing about the birth of a Savior? Forget fireworks! That would be pretty amazing.

That's the same kind of light we're meant to be. Darkness may surround us, but like the angels on that first Christmas night, we can be the light.

Though we may be in the midst of discouraging circumstances this season, we still have a reason to celebrate. And as we celebrate with joy, we'll create an environment of happiness and peace that every heart will crave.

So, I encourage you to let that light shine. Let's make up our minds that we're going to make this the greatest, most joyful Christmas we, our families and our community has ever experienced.

There's a God who loves us so much that He sent His only Son into the world to save us. If that's not a reason for joy, I don't know what is!

So let's show it this holiday season. Together, we can be a light in the darkness as we accept our call to Christmas joy.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com