Thursday, December 19, 2013
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." - 2 Thessalonians 2:15
I wish I could celebrate Christmas every year the exact same way. Wouldn't it be nice to know that you could celebrate this Advent season with all the people you love? But for most of us, it is impossible. Life doesn't work that way.
For many years, my job as a flight attendant required me to be away from home during most weekends and holidays. I remember one particular year feeling sorry for myself as I wasn't able to spend Christmas with my family and see my nephew's first Christmas morning.
A co-worker and I decided to attend a Christmas Eve service while in Mainz, Germany. I only claim to know "restaurant German" so I really didn't expect to get a lot out of the service. However, I was quickly comforted by the familiar sounds of Christmas after hearing the choir sing "Stille Nacht" (Silent Night). It was one of the most special moments of my life. Christians all over the world have a common thread of beliefs and traditions. We are all a part of a bigger family, Christ's family.
I am reminded of the Apostle Paul. "Stand fast." Paul is saying that we already have what it takes to do so. He lived for one reason, and that was to tell others about Jesus Christ. When he visited Athens, he took the message of Christ to the marketplace where he was able to encounter a wide variety of people. His message of "Jesus Christ is the Son of God" never changed. He traveled thousands of miles around the Mediterranean spreading the Word. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Paul influenced generations of believers and helped spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
For those of you who are alone or must be away from the ones you love this Advent season, no matter where you are or who you are with this Christmas, the traditions and teachings of Christ will always remain unchanged.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the certainty of your love and for redeeming us through your Son. In the midst of this busy season, help us to experience the true tradition of Christmas and the joy of Christ's love.
- Laura Nottingham Gotwalt