Wow! Here we are near the end of January 2017 already, but wasn’t Christmas good — really good? It started early because of the commercial side of it, including Black Friday. Still, the whole season was full of joy, hospitality and songs of peace, and folks were flat-out nice to each other.
We enjoyed walking to the parade with some wonderful neighbors and then stayed to hear a choir sing godly and cheerful songs before the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree.
Eventually, we strayed into Greenfield Chocolates, where we purchased some delicious treats. While there, a cheerful stately gentleman walked in, made his way behind the counter and announced that this store won the downtown window decorating contest. We applauded the good news delivered by Mayor Chuck Fewell.
The Christmas season was full of a robust spirit of gladness and courtesy; it diminished all too quickly. Why can’t it stay with us permanently? Forget the out-of-budget spending part, but all the blessed attitudes and actions toward each other could remain.
The spirit of Christmas is the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us. That’s always been the plan: God with us, here, on Earth. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.”
That’s why both Jesus and John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The Apostle Paul said the kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” We experience that spirit among us every year at Christmastime. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have it all the time?
We can. We can have the presence of Jesus here with us all the time. Oh, how sweet that would be for us to develop a polite, godly and vibrant culture because of becoming citizens of the kingdom of God. Just think of the marvelous changes there would be if thieves, liars, drama queens, abusers, bullies and self-centered people entered the kingdom putting Christ and other people’s needs first in their lives. Then we’d truly experience revival and the presence of God 24/7.
Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
He also said, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:27).
Then on the Day of Pentecost, Peter and the other Apostles pulled it all together for those who want a place in the kingdom of God: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39).
If you want the Spirit of Christmas constantly in your life and you’re willing to do His will on Earth as it is in heaven, then start with this simple Acts 2:38 plan of salvation as laid out so plainly and clearly by Christ and His holy Apostles.
If you want Him, if you want to thrive in His kingdom and if you want the 24/7 Spirit of Christmas, then let us help you. You can reach me by email at 400SNobleSt@gmail.com.
May the everlasting Spirit of Christmas bless you real good.
Michael Frausto is pastor of Greenfield Wesleyan Church. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.