I enjoy most holidays. Besides getting a break from work, they offer opportunities to reflect on why we celebrate. For example, Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to look at the love relationships around us. We can have a thankful heart for those who are in our lives and appreciate the love given and received. Thanksgiving is one of my favorites and over time my reasons to celebrate morphed from loving all of the wonderful food to having a grateful heart for God in our lives, for friends, and so much more. Even Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cause us to pause and reflect on how we became a part of life. We often thank them for the almost endless hours given to us in love and for helping us into adulthood.
Christmas is another major holiday but it centers around controversy. Some say that it has pagan roots and has nothing to do with Jesus. Some say that it is a religious holiday and celebrating it should be done in private. And still, others could care less about the religious aspects. They take a secular approach to celebrating.
How Can I Make a Difference?
Unfortunately, I have learned about the controversies played out in countries, towns, families, and even in churches. Lives have been lost just because someone didn’t agree with another’s stance. Moments that were meant for folks to unite have become scars in the hearts of those who have lost loved ones, suffered persecution, or have been forgotten.
I have spent time reflecting on these circumstances; and in spite of them, I have asked myself how I can make a difference for Christ. After all, when Jesus came to this earth, He didn’t fix the cultural clashes between the Jews and the Romans. Rather, in the midst of controversy, Jesus reached out to the hurting and loved them, healed them, and forgave them. He ministered and loved the underserved. He admonished the religious leaders for keeping to traditions and ignoring the needs of the people.
I have concluded that if I am going to make a difference during holidays or any other day, I must learn to reach out as Jesus did. As Christians, we are called to love, and that is how the world will know that we are the disciples of Jesus.1 The world will know I am a Christian when I visit someone who is alone at home, in a nursing home, or in jail. The world will know when I buy a meal for a homeless person or a coat for someone who is cold. They will know when I send a note of encouragement to someone who is struggling. The world will know when we ask God to show us how to reflect His love in our hearts, in our words, and in our actions.
God has not positioned me to stop wars or to erase controversy but to love. This is what Jesus did.
Reference: 1. John 13:34-35
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Pam Williams writes from Southern California.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.