Not Just For Christmas

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Caroline, my wife, reminded me the other day of a car sticker from the past, which proclaimed: "A dog is for life — not just for Christmas." This was promoted in an effort to make parents stop and think about the inappropriateness of buying pets for their children at Christmas, only to find out that they were not in a position to sustain the dog when it became larger and more of a physical and economic handful.

She appealed to my dyslexic mind by commenting that the saying is as good for God as well as it is for dogs! True: God is for life — not just for Christmas.

Of course, the original sticker raised the issue that a dog lives for a long time and so needs to be able to have the benefit of a secure and stable environment to be loved and well looked after. I suppose the converse is true with God. He wants to provide a beneficial environment for our growth, through Jesus! God is a God of love, grace, planning and determination, as well as a God of great patience as he nurtures our growth.

Yes, God in Jesus is not just for Christmas, a time when we remember His birth and incarnation, but also for the rest of the year. Further, not only is this for duration of our lifetime and then on into the next, but also He is the author and enabler of new life itself in us! We are contingent on Him. This is something to dwell on as we seek His face!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that you have set us free. Enable us to keep this life-giving freedom under your divine care and protection, so that the world will not be able to pollute it or snatch it away from us. Lord, help us not to be a cause of stumbling to others, but rather let your life shine! Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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