A forefront thought in my mind in between the Christmas holiday and the New Year is this – the celebration of Christmas should inform and be affirmed in how I live in the New Year.
We celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas – and His birth, along with His coming death, burial, resurrection, and even His daily intercession on my behalf – should relate and become real in the New Year, in my every day.
Instead, I often feel like the celebration of Christmas and the resolutions in the New Year are disconnected; two different events with two different motivations and methods. I tend to give into indulgences over Christmas only to ‘tighten my belt’ in the New Year. The thing is – this is all more or less self-focused. However, when I – by His grace – realize & confess my self-centeredness and then ask Him to center me on Himself, I enjoy each day, including Christmas and the New Year under the banner of His life, His grace, His reality in my life.
There’s a song put to music we read and sing during the Christmas holiday that has become my favorite – not only because it reflects my heart, but also because I can picture both of my young boys giving their loveys or their most special talent, like playing drums and guitar, to Jesus. This mental image further softens my heart to the Lord. I want to be child in this way…
We read the poem this morning as part of my boys’ school and again the words resonated in my heart.
The poet writes:
What can I give Him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring Him a lamb.
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part.
But what can I give Him?
Give Him my heart.
- The Gift, by Christina G. Rossetti
This poem, which softens my heart to give myself to the Lord, and to give gifts in love to others at Christmas, could become my resolution for the New Year… and could even be my motivation for love during Valentines.
He gave Himself – so I give myself to Him, and give in love to others.
He gave Himself – so I resolve to give Him myself all year long.
He gave Himself – so I sacrificially love others as I celebrate His love.
He gave Himself – so I live, abundantly, eternally, today.