by Lt. Colonel Renea Smith
Territorial Secretary for Personnel
For most of us, this month marks the beginning of a season of celebration. Initiated on Thanksgiving Day, we gather with friends and family to count our blessings. A few short days later, Advent commences, leading up to Christmas.
This season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, is my favorite time of the year. I think people are more willing to share a smile, to be generous, to greet strangers and to take time to be with others. It fills me with joy to think about being with those I love, knowing there will be laughter, food, music and love, lots of love.
This time of year brings to my mind Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV): “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
In this passage, God reminds Israel that He called them to be His covenantal people, to live in relationship with Him, to live in the reality of that relationship and to teach their beliefs to the next generation. These words in Deuteronomy are especially timely as we think about gathering with those we love, realizing there are more open doors to talking about faith during this season than any other.
God made us to live in relationship, with Him and with others. Our joyful gatherings are pleasing to Him, and they provide wonderful opportunities to talk about Christ and what He means in our lives. Impress on your family and friends the deep love God has for them. Talk about Him when you sit at home eating cookies and drinking coffee, when you walk through the mall, when you are getting ready for bed, and in the morning at the breakfast table. Let His promises be seen in your home, in the decoration on the walls, in the cards you write, in the greetings you give and through the blessings you say as you leave one another.
Hopefully this year we all will be able to gather with friends and family again. As you do, be intentional in including Christ in your celebration. Let others see Jesus living in you. Let them experience God’s love for them through you. May you see others with God’s eyes, listen with His ears and love with His heart. As a result, those we love may experience His love, His mercy and His peace.