Here are some holiday reflections shared by Charles Swindoll today on his blog for pastors. I thought you might enjoy his insights:
It’s baaaack! The age-old yuletide season is about to slip in the door once again. Better not shout, better not pout, for the malls will be playing “Jingle Bells” several thousand times between now and December 25.
If you’re not careful, the crowds and commercialism will weigh you down like that fourth helping of stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner.
And there’s nothing worse than a jaded attitude that resists the true spirit of the season.
Although this has been a challenging year in numerous ways, we have a practical reason to look back over it with gratitude for God’s protection and grace.
This reflection sets in motion the ideal mental attitude to carry us through the weeks ahead.
In other words, a sustained spirit of humble gratitude will make the period leading up to December 25 an integral part of the Christmas celebration rather than a dreadful marathon run toward the finish.
We live in a world fraught with evil—one in which innocent people are gunned down as they go about their business, where world governments seem powerless to stop those whose intent is to control through fear.
But we cannot afford to end the year in frustration.
I—like you—have seen and experienced God’s hand of protection and mercy, even in the toughest moments.
During this holiday season, let’s pledge not to let ingratitude become our creed or allow cynicism to cause a stumbling block.
As we consistently remind our flocks (and ourselves) of God’s provision in our lives and the lives of our loved ones, the holidays will become a special time of spiritual enrichment, personal renewal, and genuine gratitude.