Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why can’t every day be Christmas?

I’ll be showing my age if I talk about a Christmas movie from my childhood, “There Once Was A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” (1966). The movie contained a song that has stuck in my brain all these years, crowding out things my wife and boss might think are important. Imagine that…

Why can’t everyday be Christmas?

The practical answer, of course, is that if everyday were Christmas, it wouldn’t be special anymore. Wouldn’t make our hearts beat faster, wouldn’t keep us up at night with the excitement of how someone was going to react to that very special gift. There wouldn’t be a season of preparing for Christ’s coming, anticipating, and the joy of that birth and the exclamation point in the story of our salvation.

I think about that song, though, when I see the spirit in a person that is so prevalent this time of year. We give generously. We don’t pass the kettle without putting in a buck. We give food baskets. We volunteer at soup kitchens and shelters. We visit the sick, infirm, elderly, those in prison. We give of ourselves so generously.

That’s the part that would do well to last all year round. Those folks who are shut in or locked up will still be there in January; and the food pantry shelves will be pretty empty in February and March. The soup kitchen will need a few extra hands come April, and so on…

So while I believe it honors Jesus’ birth to celebrate it once a year (it isn’t one day, by the way, but a 12 day season) I think it honors Jesus life and ministry when we carry that spirit of compassion and generosity through the whole season. Why not? Why can’t every day be Christmas?

--Ken Sloane, Director of Communications Ministry Team, United Methodist Communications

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