Are you willing …

– a reflection by Rev. John Wilson, from our monthly publication –

I’d like to share it with you something from Rev Henry Van Dyke entitled “Keeping Christmas”:

“There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

“Are you willing…

  • to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
  • to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
  • to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces and into their hearts, hungry for you;
  • to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are doing to give to life;
  • to close your book of complaints against the management of the uni- verse, and took around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.

“Are you willing to do these things even for day? Then you can keep Christmas.

“Are you willing…

  • to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;
  • to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old;
  • to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;
  • to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
  • to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;
  • to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;
  • to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open.

“Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

“Are you willing…

  • to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world
  • stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death
  • and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

“Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone.”

I wish you a blessed keeping of Christmas this year.

~ Rev. Dr. John Wilson

Rev. Henry Van Dyke was a prolific author from Rhode Island. You may have read or seen the movie version of his well-known Christmas tale: The Other Wise Man. It’s the imaginative story of the 4th wise man ~ who never made it to Bethlehem in time, and who spent the rest of his fascinating life looking for the Christ.  Download Van Dyke’s works for your Kindle.

 Rev. Wilson writes a weekly reflection for everyone to read.  If you would like to receive these message via email, sign up for our email list.