Pastor's Column - January 15, 2014

First Byline: 
Rev. Ken Catoe - Hagood Avenue Baptist Church of Barnwell

Celebrate the year round

The Christmas tree disassembled? Check. The living room furniture shifted back to their "Proper" position? Check. The outside lights taken down and put away? Check. The wreaths removed from the doors? Check. The nativity displays packed away for another year? Check.
It's official, Christmas has come and gone. Now it's life back to normal. Sad, isn't it? Christmas so quickly gone and forgotten. All that's left are the broken toys and the misfit clothes to return.
Life moves on and the daily grind attempts to push God and Jesus out of our lives like the inn in Bethlehem. In spite of our attempts to remind everyone that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and God expressing His love for us all, school has resumed and work schedules are normalized. Oh, look, here comes Easter. And just as quickly it will be here and gone and we will be planning our summer vacations.
If it didn't look so crazy, I'd leave my nativity up year-round. If it wasn't so "redneck" I'd leave my lights up until next year. But maybe I can celebrate Christmas year-round simply by letting the reality of the incarnation of Jesus impact every day of my life. I can shine the light of Jesus into our darkness just at the Star and angels heralded Jesus on that first Christmas. I can share the good news of Jesus' birth by announcing that He's here, now. I can think of others and perhaps share my tangible love with a small gift or some other expression of my care.
Christmas doesn't have to be a calendar event: it can be a life event that is marked and celebrated all year long. May my house AND my life invite everyone to the Jesus of not only the cradle but also the cross and the coronation as King of Kings and Lords of Lords. God bless.
Rev. Ken Catoe is the pastor of Hagood Avenue Baptist Church in Barnwell.