Are you like me when someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”? I always respond with a “Merry Christmas!” I think I do it in a loving way. When a friend asked me why I needed to put such emphasis on that issue I found myself being a little argumentative in suggesting the need to keep CHRIST in the Christmas season. I don’t know where that tone came from but my friend said something that woke me up. He said, “If we did a better job of keeping CHRIST in Christian, Christmas would take care of itself.”
That was the second time in as many days I had been busted with a pious attitude. The other was at a Men’s Life presentation given by Monsignor Michael Jamail. He said that Jesus' two commandments – to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul & strength and to love your neighbor as yourself are not mutually exclusive. In fact he suggested that it is when the two are separated that we incur most of our troubles – when we love God but disregard our neighbor or when we compromise God in the way we love our neighbor. I indeed have found this to be true in my life and see it at the core of many of the world’s woes. This of course is the tension Jesus walked in so eloquently His whole life.
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40. This was Jesus’ response when the Pharisees asked which commandment was greatest in the Law. They were all about the “first and greatest commandment” but they did not much care for their neighbors, especially this new neighbor Jesus. Love is conveyed here as a verb, a commitment of devotion to God and of duty to others.
Tips to Be CHRISTian:
- Celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ with great joy and keep the focus on Him.
- Reflect a growing, personal and passionate relationship with Him in every situation, discussion and gathering through Christmas and the New Year.
- Serve Him as Lord by keeping the two commands integral to your life.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your Son Jesus the Christ. His virgin birth began a sinless life, obedient walk and sacrificial love as the Word become flesh. This is the gift to be celebrated this season and the example to be emulated. Help me embrace the gift and the responsibility that goes with it to a new level, that I indeed keep Christ in Christian and love others in a way that glorifies You in family and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father keeps CHRIST in Christian during Christmas and throughout the year.