December 26

A Thought: On Christmas Day, I shared with my congregation the following letter I wrote to Jesus, and several have asked me to post it:

Dear Jesus,
Happy Birthday! Has anyone said that to You?
I just wondered, because I know I haven’t said it to You, yet. I’ve been so busy saying Merry Christmas to others, and hearing them say it to me, that I have forgotten momentarily, it’s Your Special Day! Please forgive me.
Jesus, it’s been a wonderful season!
We lit the candles, but I don’t know that we always remembered they were in Your honor.
They represented hope, peace, joy and love, but I don’t know that we experienced and gave those away every day. It seems like there was a bunch of stress and rushing around from place to place, party to party, that got in the way of experiencing what Your birthday is supposed to be about —those gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love that only come from being close to you.
We bought gifts, and gave to those who are well and in our close circle. But I didn’t give to the poor, hurting, and lonely as much as I should have. It wasn’t often Your words popped in my head: “As you give unto the least of these, you give unto Me.” Matthew 25:34-40
We wrapped up those gifts, with gold and silver, but I don’t know that we remembered the gifts of gold and spices You received so long ago, were in preparation for Your Kingdom, as well as, Your death, and how they were given to glorify God for sending —You, our Savior.
We sang lots of songs, but they weren’t all in Your honor. Some were about snow, and reindeer and a funny, fat fella’ named Santa. They were fun to sing. Oh, we sang about the Angels, and the manger, the Star, and when You were a baby. Those were sweet, but we like to sing the other songs when we’re with our friends and at parties.
We hugged lots of friends and relatives, extending holiday greetings. But, have we reached out to You with a warm prayer of thanks?
We spent lots of money and taken lots of time and done lots of cleaning and decorating all throughout the house, to welcome guests and celebrate Christmas Day. Oh, you should see the house, Lord, and smell the aromas of food! It is so festive!
But for Your birthday, on Your Birthday, have we prepared to receive you?
Now, Lord, I know You’re the LAST PERSON who would want us to feel guilty on Christmas Day. You love it when ‘we feel the joy,’ ‘are full of the holiday spirit,’ and ‘capture the sentiments of the season.’ But all You want–all you’ve ever wanted, is for us to Love You, Believe in You, and like the scripture says place You First in our lives: “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, and everything else will be added unto you.” Mt. 6:33 That would be Your greatest gift from us. And if we would just live our lives out every day to reflect YOU, then, others would be convinced that what we have received in You, is something very special—salvation, with NO comparison. And, they wouldn’t stop until they received You in their hearts, too! We would really be fulfilling The Great Commission then–making disciples!
THAT would be something YOU could really celebrate!
Lord, I know there’s a real danger that when the decorations come down, and all the extra goodies have been eaten, and all the guests go home, that there will be that holiday slump with extra bills, extra pounds, and extra housework. Forgive us, Lord! May we take THIS DAY, YOUR BIRTHDAY, AND COMMIT TO
CELEBRATING YOU EVERYDAY—that you will not be a season that passed, but a life that is perpetuated in Joy,as we SHARE Your Joy with others everyday.
So, Happy Birthday, Jesus! I hope and pray everyone received and opens up the ultimate Gift this Christmas—YOU—and keeps You in their hearts ALWAYS! Merry Christmas, Jesus, and and to you all!

Mary Hilliard

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