Looking for the Christmas spirit

Looking for the Christmas spirit

Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2011 12:08 pm

The Messenger, January 6, 2011
Provided by Obion County Ministerial Association
I pray that you all are recovering from Christmas at a reasonable rate. Of course for many, the trauma isn’t over. For too many now is the time that they must confront the dreaded credit card demons in the vain hope they won’t gang up. But many just want to sit back, relax and hibernate for a while as they see another ghost of Christmas past. For them these holidays are like airplane landings — they’re all good if one can walk away.
Still, there are things which must be done. Presents must be returned because they are truly tasteless and tacky, the wrong size or just wrong altogether. Some presents still have to be assembled so somebody has to get on the Internet to find the directions which were thrown away. Batteries, so many batteries, must be replaced. Already broken presents must be disposed of inconspicuously so they don’t have to be replaced and don’t cause any additional trauma. Of course, there are thank-you notes to write, apologies to make and a settling of accounts for multiple-purchaser gifts. And gift cards must be redeemed as quickly as possible as though they were perishable. Edible goodies of many kinds must be consumed lest they be wasted.
I would remind you that these are the days of “post-present depression.” It’s a very common ailment, not unlike post-partum depression in some ways; people suffer from some dark depression of unknown cause, in a few days have gone from glad to gruesome, have unpredictable mood swings and often express great interest in hurting whoever happens to be closest. There are cries saying, “I won’t let this happen again next year!”  
Whatever happened to that Christmas spirit we vowed to keep all year?
The first verse of the Gospel of Mark says, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  
That’s the real spirit of Christmas. That’s really what we are supposed to be about. It isn’t that another season is over, another year ended. When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, He is born once again in our hearts, our souls are enlivened once again, and just for moments we can see that the Kingdom could come upon the earth and there could be peace. But the world presses in immediately and all of that seems to disappear.
For true believers, it is only the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. Every day is a new beginning. Every day is new and filled with the promise of good things from God. That same Jesus whose birth we just celebrated is the same one who lived and died for us, was raised from the dead for us, is in heaven waiting for us. And even with all of that, what we see now is only a beginning to the good news waiting for us in eternity.  
Have a happy and safe new year. May God bless you beyond all expectation.
Rev. Hugh D. Barksdale
Mt. Zion and Rush Creek Extended Ministry,
United Methodist Church

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