Merry Christmas on Purpose

Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.

(1 Timothy 5:1-3 NLT)

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!

For most of my life, I was a “Bah, Humbug” kind of guy about Christmas.  On a personal level, I tried to ignore it. Too many hurtful memories and disappointments associated with the idea.  As a Pastor, I did what was necessary to get through it. It was an irritating interruption in doing what I needed to teach the poor, benighted sheep, now so distracted by the tinsel or depressed by the joy. Then a few years ago I made a decision: “I’m gonna leverage this thing for good:  I choose to rejoice!”  That year, I put on a Santa suit in church and preached that way.  I adopted the personal tradition of opening every service in December with “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!”  How important would it be if I managed to cheer up just one dejected saint, or store clerk, or frustrated shopper?

Anyway, here’s my wish for you: Have a wonderful Christmas.  If you can’t do anything else, find someone and do what Paul said to Timothy about how we treat family: Respect someone, honor someone, treat someone with selfless purity, do something caring for someone uncared for. It will make your day. I promise. 

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