God Bless Us…Everyone!
The days of the Christmas Season are very special to me. For in the midst of all the running about, hectic pace, and exhaustion, there is always time to reflect on what occurred that day long ago, and a time to answer the question—What does Christmas mean…right now?
There is, of course, the opportunity to be saved from destruction and live a life with One who gave His own because He wants to spend forever with us. But what does that mean in the moment of today?
One of my favorite stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 1 The book touches on so many things—neglect, abuse, poverty, greed, scorn, illness, loneliness, betrayal, grief, hatred, hopelessness, death. Many assume these relate only to the central character, Ebenezer Scrooge. But Dickens did not hesitate to apply them also to family, friends, neighbors, government, and even the church.
The story is one of hope and redemption for even the most horrible person. But it is also about being so focused on the affairs and failures of others…that we lose sight of our own. It is about ignoring the path God sets before us…so we may live the life we choose. This is certainly for the Scrooges of the world. Even more, it is a message for you and me.
A miracle has just begun!
A movie based on this book includes a song recorded by Andrea Bocelli. 2 He lost his sight as a boy, but rather than turn away, he clung to his music. Today he is one of the great singers of the world. Where once there seemed hopelessness, he found hope. And now, through this song, God has chosen the voice of one who is blind to give us a message so that we may see. 3
Blessings sent us from up above…Guide us on our way
We raise our voice…As we rejoice…Bow our head and pray
A miracle has just begun…God Bless Us Everyone
Each day brings a new beginning!
The message of Christmas is not only about the birth of Jesus. It is about new beginnings. Beginning the walk that leads to salvation? Yes. But also a different beginning…one for you…even now as you read these words. For no matter your circumstances…each day with God is a new beginning.
But what is this new day for? Remember…the child born long ago. Remember…He grew to be Master, Savior, Lord and Friend. Remember…what He told us…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.4
Each morning brings a new day to love, encourage, care for, and help someone. As Dickens wrote of the new Scrooge, we have a new day to be better than our word, as good a friend and as good a person as any have ever known…to be one who keeps Christmas well throughout the year. 5
Christmas means the beginning of a new life for us. Each day the miracle begins anew. The Light that came into the world has entered our hearts. He is with us. God bless us…everyone!
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching others how to “encourage one another as long as it is called Today!” He is also an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. You can learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: The original version of this Note of Encouragement (God bless us …everyone!) was published December 24, 2017. (1) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812–1870), originally published by Chapman & Hall, 1843. (2) A Christmas Carol, Walt Disney Pictures, 2009. (3) God Bless Us Everyone, Glen Ballard & Alan Silvestri, Walt Disney Music Company, 2009. (4) John 15:34b. (5) Adapted from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
Pictures: Banner: Star of Bethlehem/Starry Night, image created by RealCG Animation Studio, Shutterstock. (1) My Way, Not Yours, photo by Luis Mariano Gonzalez, Getty Images. (2) Andrea Bocellli in concert, singing God Bless Us Everyone, WSKG.org. (3) Together, Amarillo Globe-News.