Love Like Jesus

I was poking around in a seasonal gift shop this last week, and I saw a decorative sign that really struck a chord with me.  At the moment, it is the only Christmas decoration on display at our house.

“Dance like Frosty

Shine like Rudolph

Give like Santa

Love like Jesus.”

I’ve had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  I don’t want to do any shopping or write any Christmas cards.  Baking cookies has been the only thing I’ve felt like doing so far.  But this sign seemed like a sign from God, a message to my heart.  These are, perhaps, things I can do that reflect the spirit of Jesus, even if I don’t feel like Christmas.

Dance like Frosty.  I’m  not sure I remember Frosty dancing.  In the song Frosty moves, “Thumpety thump thump.”  That’s probably more my style of dancing anyway.  I may not be very graceful, but I can do a “thumpety thump thump.”  Dancing like Frosty is reflected in a lightness of heart as we remember the gift of life:  our lives, the lives of those we love, and the life of Jesus Christ.  I could put on “Jingle Bell Rock” and do a little dancing like Frosty.

Shine like Rudolph.  Jesus tells us to “let your light shine.”  Easy to say, sometimes hard to do, especially during those long winter afternoons and evenings.  The sun may not set until 5 something, but it seems like it is getting dark around 4.  It has been a gloomy December so far.  But external circumstances don’t need to determine whether or not I shine.  I can still reflect the light of Christ.  In fact, Jesus should shine brighter when it is darkest in the world.  Rudolph was able to lead the way when no one else could.  Tom and I can hang some Christmas lights outside and shine like Rudolph in our lives everyday.

Give like Santa.  Santa gives without any expectation of receiving anything in return.  And he is jolly about it – he is always laughing “ho, ho, ho.”  Can I give my time, my presence, my attention without expecting anything in return?  Can I be generous and whole-hearted in my giving?  I have not always been appreciative enough of the gifts others have given me.  My wonderful friend Chris always acts like the small things I give her are the most wonderful things she has ever received.  I want to be more like that.  Appreciating not just the gift, but the thought, the intention, and the person who gives the gift.

Love like Jesus.  The best thing to do and the hardest.  To love others even when they disappoint or are unlovely.  Opening my heart and keeping it tender when my inclination is to be cynical and hold people at a distance.  Being willing to sacrifice my comfort in order to meet others needs.  These are things I know I should do but they are difficult for me.  But it is only by loving like Jesus that I will truly find that Christmas spirit.  Because love is what Christmas is all about.

Love came down at Christmas, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  May the love of Jesus fill you so that you are able to dance like Frosty, shine like Rudolph, and give like Santa.  May the love of Jesus let you love like Jesus in return.