By David Brandt Berg
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For the Christian, every day can be Christmas. Jesus showers His love down on us every day of the year. But sad to say, it’s not that way for those who haven’t yet found the real meaning of Christmas.
So many people are lost, lonely, downtrodden, weak, and weary. Some are weak in their bodies, others are weak in their minds, and yet others are weak in body, mind, and spirit. There are those who are trampled on: the poor, the persecuted, the hungry, victims of war and crime and exploitation; those nobody wants or cares about, those who have so little in the way of worldly goods, those who lack even the basic necessities. Then there are others who have material goods and who appear to “have it together” in the eyes of others, but who are prisoners of their own selfish desires. They are weary and heavy laden with problems, stress, fears, and phobias.
There are those who wear a smile, yet ache inside; those who are engulfed in a sea of emptiness; those who suffer from pain, guilt, bitterness, and condemnation; those who feel remorse over the past or fear the future.—So many lost and desperate folks in the world today! It reminds me of the words to that old Beatles’ song, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” Many of the lonely people, the downtrodden and the forlorn, come from a society where people look to their own needs and not to the needs of others. They’re victims, the sad result of what happens when people’s lives aren’t ruled by love, and when the world forgets its Creator.
Event after event leaves people questioning. “Why all the pain and strife in the world? Why the slaughter of the innocents? Why troubles and sorrows?” It’s reminiscent of that famous Christmas carol “O Holy Night”: “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining! It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and [sorrow] pining ...”
And yet, there’s much talk about the “advancement” and “betterment” of mankind—advanced medicine, modern technology, new inventions, better governments to make it a better world to live in. Never before has there been so much confusion, so many voices saying, “This is the way to go.”
The song continues: “A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” The world is in great need of a ray of hope! People need to hear about the new and glorious morning that is just around the corner.
The refrain is also very significant: “Fall on your knees! O hear the angels’ voices!” Just like the shepherds heard the angels announce the birth of Christ, the Lord wants the people of the world to hear those angels’ voices today.
You can be one of those Christmas angels sent from Jesus Himself to proclaim the good news to the lost and lonely of the world, to give them the ray of hope they have been waiting for. Who better for Him to use than His own children who have His words of life, who know His truth, and whom He’s made rich in faith! As the darkness falls on the world and the cold winds blow, His children are called to hold up the light for all to see. If you will shine His light on people, He’ll cause it to accomplish His purpose in their lives and hearts and minds.
People not only need to hear about the love of God, they need to see it. They need to see God’s love put into action! Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one toward another.”1 It’s not enough to just talk about love. Jesus said you have to have love; you have to live love. The Lord knew that there would be no denying that sample.
So this Christmas and throughout the coming year, give the Lord the gifts that He’s most pleased with—gifts of love! Give of yourself! Shine forth the love and sweetness of Jesus through the light of your eyes, a loving look, kind speech, and kind deeds. Be the living example of the message, the living proof that it works.
What better way to live Christmas each and every day of the year than to continually give to those around you, to truly live as He taught us, to show His love in all the little ways throughout the day, to show the world living proof that the love of Jesus works? “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love, and His gospel is peace.” He’s entrusted you, His child, with His law, which is love. He’s trusting you to follow it and to live His love so that by this, all men may know that you are His disciples.
What can you give the one who has everything? You can give your love not only to Him, but reach out and give your love to others. His gospel is love. Will you live it? Will you give it? You might not feel equal to the task, but God is, and He’ll help you if you try.
Ask the Lord to help you live Christmas each and every day of the year by helping you to follow His great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Give of yourself! Give others your prayers, your time, your attention, your care. Love God by loving your neighbor, and your life will tell it all, because you’ll be the living proof.
As you live in His love, it will bring down His power upon you. And as He pours out His power upon you, His power and glory will be made known to all the world forevermore—the power of God’s love! Let others see Jesus in you! That’s what Christmas is all about! Merry Christmas!
From the writings of David Brandt Berg, published in Activated in December 2003. Adapted and republished December 2016. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
1 John 13:35.