SCRIPTURE: John 15:11 (NIV)
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their "misery dinner." It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm's funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that "the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week." Her courageous act rallied the family.
Most of the world took time out of their busy schedule yesterday to experience the joy which had come into the world. Admittedly, it might seem hard to celebrate when some tragedy has visited a loved one. But, while life could be challenging the time of celebration has come into all of our homes … even when this seem the darkest. As Mr. Buscaglia illustrated in his story, celebration rallies our spirits. Rejoicing dispels the gloom and dark. Joy turns night into day. And so we stopped to celebrate … may the celebration of Christmas continue not just on the 25th of December and not just during the month of December, but it continue throughout the year.
I have always found it peculiar the number of homes that remove all signs of the Christmas celebration on the 26th of December. The tree is out on the curb to be picked up. The lights come off the house. All decorations are packed away for another year. They seem to be declaring, the time of celebration is over … now get back to routine, our work, our busy schedule … we’ve had our moment of happiness and it is time to pick up the pieces of our life.
But I like the declaration of the little girl who got up on December 26th and proclaimed to her family, “Merry Christmas, Jesus is born!” When her father tried to correct her by reminding her that Christmas was yesterday she shared, “But if he isn’t born today then he wasn’t born yesterday either. His birth is every day and every day is Christmas.” I think that she got it right. Her joy was and is complete.
May we dear Lord celebrate the reality of Christ’s birth in our life everyday. May our joy be complete as you life in us. Amen.