The Spirit of Christ

December is a month that offers joy in some form for everybody, from spiritual blessing to the material.

So far as I know, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and other religious or non religious groups celebrate their special holidays with dedication, perhaps even pride. Too many Christians, however, in their attempt to accommodate others beliefs, tend to downplay–to almost apologize–for celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday. I offer no apologies for singing Christ-centered songs and putting up Christ-centered decorations. To do so in no way attacks other belief systems.

This doesn’t mean I’m on a campaign to put Christ back into Christmas. If people prefer to celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza or winter solstice or Santa Claus, that’s their choice, and they are free to indulge, just as I am free to indulge how I celebrate. The cheery lights brighten our hearts during dark wintery days. The traditional songs give us a cozy feeling and remind us of pleasant past Decembers. Of sharing songs and gifts with friends and relatives. Of hometown performances.

And when it is done and a new year unfolds, some of us remember, as we put away the decorations, to keep the spirit of Christ within us. For there is a Christ spirit that expands beyond the child born in Bethlehem. There is a Christ spirit that lives in other religions and in those spiritual beings who claim no religion. It lives year around within the hearts of many, and it has many names. One might say it is the spirit that animates all religions. It is the spirit that reaches out in kindness and binds up the wounds of sorrow. It is the spirit of love.

May the loving kindness of this season live within you throughout the year.

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