As Christmas approaches many people repeat family customs passed on over generations. Some are good, of course.

Our tree 2014

Our tree 2014

The Christmas spirit many practice includes kindness, giving to the poor, eating together, family gatherings.

Many people will attend a Christmas Eve congregational event, or perhaps be present at the Sunday before December 25. The warm fuzzies of animals around the manger of Jesus, angels singing, children’s pageants, red and white decorations in the nave or chapel and the nostalgia of Christmas carols please people.

Without a doubt living with, and for, Jesus produces such comforting feelings deep within the heart of a believer.

But following Jesus has two sides. The second holds discipline, sacrifice, passion for justice, behaviour shaped by heavenly love, forgiveness that supercedes revenge, a long-time commitment and not a one-night stand. Those who follow the Way (as Luke records it in Acts) know that Christmas leads to Calvary’s cross.

Those who truly love the Bethlehem baby, the transforming Teacher, the Lamb that was slain, the Saviour who conquered death, are not turned off by the reality of the cross and our humble service to the High God.

Decorations - only angels and nativities

Decorations – only angels and nativities

Christmas means Christ came. That is just Chapter Two. (Chapter One, as you guess, contains the promises and expectations of the Messiah’s coming.) Chapter Three records the teachings, by words and actions, of Jesus of Nazareth. Chapter Four documents the sordid unfolding of human contempt and brutality that sees Jesus murdered for doing good. Chapter Five contains the story of life. Jesus rises from the grave to heaven. In Chapter Six the disciples rise from students to teachers as they spread Good News by Paraclete’s power. Chapter Seven keeps before us the reminder that Jesus Christ will return, and those who live both sides of the coin of faith will join Jesus forever.

I’m glad when people start reading the Book of God’s Love. My prayer is that people follow the story all the way to the end where the best part hides.

Jesus is the reason for every season. Put Christ back into Everyday-mas.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come…Let every heart prepare Him room…”