Spiritual Foundation

Bernice Butler

I love our annual December theme of Uplifting Humanity because it gives a nod to the real reason for the Christmas season. While we may feel overwhelmed by the commercialization of holy days, we can still stand firm in celebrating how the Christ speaks to us all. I rejoice in recognizing that however muted, familiar symbols, customs and rituals tied to Christmas traditions still directly point to their roots in the circumstances surrounding the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Presents: The greatest gift of all is the salvation of the world from sin. It was honored early by the gifts of the magi.

Christmas trees: In Hosea 14:8, God declares. “I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found”: and fruitful Christian lives ornament His divine tree.

Candy canes: Their shape is similar to a shepherd’s staff used by those watching in their fields, led by a heavenly host to welcome the babe in a manger; he who serves as the good shepherd of godly people.

Stars: The three wise men told King Herod of Judea that following a star in the east, they had come to worship the Bethlehem babe. One of Christ’s names is “the bright morning star”.

Light: The Gospel of John announces, “Light has come into the world.” Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” So we celebrate Christ Jesus as the “light of the world”.

Red: A dominant color of Christmas, it represents Jesus’ blood shed for our salvation.

The spirit of Christmas brings out our innate magnanimity. It is when we are most generous, thoughtful of others and drawn closer to family and friends. By all accounts, it’s the most generous time of the year in terms of gift-giving, philanthropic donations and kindnesses to employees and service workers. According to a recent survey of nonprofits, many receive up to a quarter of their annual donations during the winter holiday season.

We understand that giving is not always about money. It’s about sharing our time and talents, too. We are all gifted with talents important and necessary to the well-being of mankind. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we could make the magnanimous spirit of the season last throughout the year, and I was delighted to learn of this practice: When routinely asked, “How are you?” respond “I am happy,” or “I am grateful.” This reminds me how feelings, attitudes and personal transformation all begin with our words, which can then morph into corresponding behaviors. I believe the same can be said for uplifting humanity; it begins and endures through the small daily actions we take, with consistency being the key.

As always, we hope you find information and ideas in these pages to enrich your health and happiness and enable you to deeply appreciate and care for our magnificent home planet.

Blessings now, in the new year and always,

Bernice Butler, Publisher


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