This house of God is open for you; the Lord has been waiting to see you come home.

A place to leave behind the past, to have the
fullness of the present,
and to look forward to the bright future.

Does your family have any special Christmas traditions?  Perhaps you make cookies for all of your friends at the holidays.  Or, maybe you volunteer at a soup kitchen, or buy a present for a child that doesn’t have as much as you do.  I know a couple who started to make their own ornaments because when they were first married they couldn’t afford to buy ornaments for their tree. It grew into a family tradition with their

children. They made their ornaments out of gold cord and colored glue.

 

They made different shapes out of the cord, setting them on pieces of plastic wrap and gluing them together to make circles, diamonds, etc.  They would also make shapes within the shapes such as stars, swirls, even letters of the alphabet.  They let the outlines dry and then used bottles of glue dyed with food coloring to fill in the outlines.  The creations were then hung on the tree with ornament hooks.

 

Before the lights were turned on, the ornaments looked a little dull. However, suddenly with the light, they began to twinkle. It was like having a tree covered in stained glass windows. There was color and sparkling light everywhere. When I think about these ornaments they are special to me because they remind me of my friends’ creativity and love but, they also remind of something else. They remind me that Christ is the true reason for this season.

 

I imagine these ornaments as a way of thinking about all the different people in the world, in all their different colors and uniqueness.  Furthermore, just like the ornaments, we need light to see all that is true and right about each person and the real beauty that is there.  The light takes the focus away from the little imperfections. In the case of the ornaments, it might keep us from thinking about a place where two colors ran together. In the case of people, it helps us to see what is right about a person, even if he or she is not acting so nicely.  Looking for the good in everyone we meet helps us see each person for who they really are. This light, this goodness in each person, is Christ.

 

Jesus is the One who gave us perfect example and who entreats us to be Christ-like as well.  He demonstrated His godliness in all that He said and did.  His presence within us gives us life and it is that presence which makes you and me good.  It also means that Christ didn’t just disappear once Jesus ascended to the Father. Furthermore, we don’t have to wait until Christmas to celebrate the light in each of us. We can celebrate it every day, just by seeing what is good, by seeing Jesus in every person we meet.

 

Even after the Christmas tree comes down, and my friends’ glue-and-cord ornaments are put away, I know that the light and color that make Christmas so special never really disappear. Christ, the true light and color of Christmas, is always with me. He can be with you the whole year, too.

In His Light,

Bishop Raymond Contois