“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge
Tis the season of good cheer and giving. We gather with friends and family. We share food and dozens of cookies. We exchange gifts and visit shut-ins. Some of us even stand on a stranger’s front lawn and sing carols in hopes that those who dwell within feel a special sense of warmth and community.
Where does all this good will come from? In the Christian tradition, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. The event is recorded in the books of the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). In Luke 2, verses 13 and 14, we read about the angel and the heavenly host: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men” (KJV).
The angel of the Lord praised God and proclaimed that there would be peace toward us in this season. Do you feel it? Do you feel that special bond of good will as you encounter people when you’re out and about?
Sometimes we can look around us and say, no. We do not feel the atmosphere of peace. We can point to this area of concern or that area of conflict. Have you ever stopped to consider that the feeling of good will can, and should, start within you and me?
My hope is that this year, we may take the lead and promote an atmosphere of love, grace, and good will. It all starts in our heart and extends outward from there. We can make a difference for the world around us.
May all the joys of the Christmas season be yours this year and may it extend into the new year and beyond.