The psalm today tells us that God keeps faith forever with us, and St. James reminds us to live patiently, without complaining. These are all good things to keep in mind, and good advice to follow.
Having arrived at Gaudete Sunday means we are halfway through Advent to Christmas! Yikes! Time is flying, and we all have lists and are checking them twice… It isn’t easy to keep the reason for the season front and center, but this is what we are called to do. Soon we will officially begin celebrating Christmas while the rest of the world is “done” by December 26th. You will have to do your part to impart the Christmas ideal while the rest of the world is doing New Year’s and looking toward St. Valentine’s Day… But, “Be strong, fear not!” This is today’s Advent message—given by a prophet so that we may also profess our belief in salvation, regardless of season—sacred or secular.
The following article/letter is again a reprint from my past writings—I thought it was worth reading/hearing some reminders about what our focus should be for this season as we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus. No matter what—it may be food for thought in this busy time…
So remember: rejoice! And keep singing
A Letter from Jesus
My Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival--although, I do appreciate being remembered any time.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't really care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now, having said that, let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did this there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any one of my beautiful trees. Decorate a grape vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers far from home. Tell them you pray that war will end, and for their soon and safe return. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home—you don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the Story of My birth, and why I came to live with you here. Hold them and remind them that I love them.
4. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
5. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Maybe try giving everyone you meet a warm smile—it may make the difference.
6. Instead of worrying about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Maybe stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on Sunday, maybe they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
7. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary—especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
8. Here's a good on! There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no “Christmas” tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to a charity—they will make the delivery for you. This will make a difference!
9. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions, by what you say and do, that you are one of mine. Remember—what you did to the least of these…
Don't forget: I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love; and remember me.
I LOVE YOU,