"In Him was life;and his life was the light of men . And
the light shines in darkness."John 1:4-5
Keeping Christmas by Henry Van Dyke
"It is a good thing to observe Christmas Day .The mere making of times and seasons , when men agree to stop work and make merry together , is a wise and wholesome custom.
It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life.
It reminds a man to set his own little watch ,now and then , by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time .
But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas Day , and that is keeping Christmas .
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people and remember what other people have done done for you ; to ignore what the world owes you , and to think what you owe the world;to put your rights in the background ,and your duties in the middle distance , and a chance to do a little more than your duty in the foreground ;to see that your fellowmen are just as real as you are , and to look behind their faces to their hearts hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life , but what you are going to give to life ; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe , and look around for a place you can sow a few seeds of happiness --
are you willing to do these things even for a day ?
Then you can keep Christmas .
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children ; to remember the the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old , to stop asking how much your friends love you , and ask yourself whether you love them enough ;
to bear in mind the things other people have to bear in their hearts ;to try to understand what those people living in the same house as you really want without waiting for them to tell you ; to trim your light so that it will give more light and less smoke , and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you ; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings,with the gate open ---
Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.
Are you willing to believe that love in the strongest thing in the world --
stronger than hate ,stronger than evil, stronger than death--
and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love ?
Then you can keep Christmas ,
And if you can keep it for a day , why not always ?
But you can never keep it alone.
If only we could keep Christmas all year . But without Jesus in our hearts we are unable to sustain real goodness in our lives . "I have been put to death on the cross with Christ; still I am living,no longer I ,but Christ is living in me ;and that life which I am now
living in the flesh, I am living by faith , the faith of the
son of God , who in Love gave himself for me . "
Praise to Jesus !
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Merry Christmas !