As I wrote to you last Wednesday, if God so allowed, I would send you a message on this day, Christmas Day. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see another day, another Christmas Day.
No one else is up in my house right now. I am the first to rise as is typically the case. My children are all now teenagers and young adults. So, they do not rise and run around the house like they used to do when they were much younger.
I can recall my many Christmas Days spent in Chattanooga, Tennessee with my Aunt Alma (my great-aunt), Uncle June (my great-uncle), Daddy (what we called my grandfather), Aunt Lin (my mother's sister), Uncle Jimmy (my mother's brother), my mom (Alma who was named after my great-aunt) and dad (who I am named after), and my first cousins, Tookie (Fred IV) and Denub (Tracie).
I would start getting up at midnight, right when it was officially Christmas and go to Aunt Alma and Uncle June's bedroom to ask if it was time to get up. Aunt Alma would say, "No, not yet. Go back to sleep." We would repeat this pattern several times throughout the night with the same exchange until, finally, the adults would stir and the new day, Christmas Day, would begin.
We sing, "Oh, how I love Jesus"; but, at that time, all I could think of was "Oh, how I love Christmas." Little did I know, in my child's mind, that I was truly celebrating one in the same.
You see, beloved, without Christ, there is no Christmas. And, without Christmas, there is little reason to be Merry; BUT, there is Christ, Jesus the Christ, and He came to make all things new, starting with Christmas Day. So, we have reason to be Merry. So, we greet each other with the salutation "Merry Christmas!"
While we look forward to the New Year each December 31st, our newness truly begins with the newness that God brought into the world through Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!"
My hope and my prayer for each of you, your families, and your friends is that you will continuously experience the newness of life that comes from not just being a Christian who celebrates Christmas but from being a Christian who celebrates the everlasting love of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit.
We, Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church Family and Friends, are so blessed and my greatest desire is that you will live as if you are blessed beyond what you deserve and, in doing so, you will so let the light of Christ in you shine that others will want to do the same.
Enjoy this day! Celebrate this day! And, embrace this day! Have a Merry Christmas!
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!