May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15: 5-7 (ESV)
The harvest is over and we took a much needed break to spend some time with our son and his family out in South Dakota last week. It was wonderful! We drove home on Thanksgiving Day and stopped at my parent’s to eat a delicious meal with them that night. As we were leaving, my mom gave me a pile of miscellaneous papers that had belonged to my grandmother. In it, was this note:
and it struck me how fortunate I am to have a loving family that I sometimes take for granted. We may not always agree on everything, but we know we’ll always be there for each other through thick and thin.
Why is it then, that one of the best times of the year can sometimes turn into one of the most stressed times of the year? Holiday parties, recitals, kids’ programs, family gatherings… all fun activities meant to be enjoyed in a loving atmosphere can sometimes bring out the worst in us instead of the best in us. I know I’m guilty of grumbling and complaining in stressful times instead of embracing the chaos and enjoying it with a smile and kind, encouraging words.
During this Christmas season, I need to remind myself of the above verse. And whether I’m with family and fellow believers, or with others who might not know Jesus Christ, I need to be gracious and kind to reflect the glory of God. My prayer is that we can all experience a joy-filled Christmas season with family and friends while celebrating our Savior’s birth.