Christmas is a time of joy and happiness for people throughout the world. On the first Christmas, God showed his love to us by sending his only Son with the hope and love strong enough to change the world.
The words of Christ, "Treat others as you want them to treat you," (Luke 6 : 31) give all of us new hope. If everyone in the world would try to put these words into practice, real peace would descend upon the world.
The infant Jesus, with his head lying on a pillow of straw in the manger at Bethlehem under the Christmas star, shows us that riches and power are not important in this life. But love is. "Mary laid the child in the manger." (Luke 2 : 6-7)
To gain eternal life, Christ told us that the way to salvation is to love God with your whole heart, body and soul, and then love your neighbor as yourself. (See Matthew 22 : 36-39)
Christmas is also a time when persons buy gifts for those they love. We express that love with the presents we pick out for these persons. In this way we reflect the limitless love that God has for us.
All Christ's teaching of love is a great help to us on the rough road of life. If we strive to obey Christ's words to love each other in spite of the many trials and hardships in this life, it will lead us to eternal life. Let us forget the bitterness and trials of days gone by as we listen to the beautiful sound of voices singing carols about the life-giving happiness of Christmas. Greet the New Year with the decision that it will be a time to show our love to God and to all people.