Dear Patients & Friends:
Why do we celebrate this season? Of course there are many reasons, depending on our faith and traditions. For those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ, of course we celebrate this as not just a time of receiving gifts, but as a time to be thankful for the gift of His birth, God’s ultimate demonstration of His love for us. As scripture teaches, “…though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
At the funeral of the gifted young wife of a friend yesterday I was reminded in so many ways of why we Christians celebrate this season. Battling cancer the past two years, her pastors agreed that if anything she tried harder to reflect Christ by her life. Rather than shaking her fist at God in anger, she and her husband chose to thank Him for the blessings they had been given.
It’s not just that we are given temporary life here. Through faith in Him we are given permanent life! How cool is that?
Which brings us back to our original question on the “why” of our celebration. When we face misfortune, hardships, and even seemingly cruel turns in our lives, will we shake our fists in defiance of the creator or instead choose to thank Him by our response to our trials?
If we are celebrating His life, then we choose to be thankful, not just at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, but by our actions every day of the year. We Christians then choose to, “…rejoice with joy unspeakable….”
May God bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you, give you peace, and give you joy unspeakable always!
Dr. Rob Leach
King James version of 1Peter 1:8: http://bible.cc/1_peter/1-8.htm
For a brief history of Christian Christmas traditions: http://www.holidaydecorations.com/Christmas-Wreath.html
PHOTO REFERENCES: Upper Right, Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, c 1715, Williamsburg Virginia, http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/ and Lower Left, Michie’s Tavern, c 1784, Charlottesville, Virginia http://www.michietavern.com/
You may access these links online, at: www.drleach.com click on Newsletters, December 2009: Joy Unspeakable