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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Christmas and Love

Updated on December 20, 2015

I suppose if you went to this church for a service it would be called a High Mass.

Beauty and Majesty
Beauty and Majesty | Source

We can just look around and see it and be it.

Ain’t life grand this time of year? We will begin our actual Christmas day early as we have a five year old in the home. Oh the joy and the excitement that little ones bring to Christmas. He loves Christmas. And that makes his mom and I love Christmas – as though we needed another reason.

Hey did you notice something while doing all your shopping? I just noticed it this year. If you stand in a line for checkout, then the clerk is overwhelmed with work. And half the people in line are upset over the long lines and are harried to get all the shopping done. Many people take it out on the clerk in rudeness and unpleasantness toward the clerk. If you take the time to be really nice to the clerk and share a sincere “Merry Christmas” and maybe even compliment the clerk on the great job they are doing it really means something a little extra during this busy season. It is like the perfect opportunity to share the love that you can bring.

Did you know that a recent survey of some sort just indicated that upwards to 90% of people buy themselves a gift? Seems a little odd and to be a high percentage so I asked some friends about it and to a person they all admitted doing it. Sly little smiles on their faces. So I sat and thought about that and it made me happy. It seems that in today’s world our self-criticism is a bit rampant. We are always comparing ourselves to others and being upset with our selves that we do not do better. Buying yourself a gift is kind of like saying we love ourselves. And that is a really cool thing indeed.

We are given the opportunity during this season to see and share and include ourselves in the love. Could it be that there are two reasons for the season?

Make of it what you will.

We could be sad that we don't get snow here for Christmas

But I think we will just love the weather we get.
But I think we will just love the weather we get. | Source

We take the good with the bad!

How about stopping for a moment and thinking of each gift you have chosen and gotten for somebody else. Sorry to tell you this but many people kind of do the wrapping of presents like an assembly line. Kind of taking the specialness of each gift for granted. So I said “stop the madness” and we take the time to pray on each gift. We really do not pray on the gift we simply say “may this gift find (fill in the blank) happy and well and in love when they receive it. Maybe, just maybe, the love we have actually gets shipped a thousand miles with the package. Or fills our home as it sits under the tree. It would be cool if love worked that way and maybe it does if our hearts are into it.

I just love this old line from what now is an old song. Love the one you are with. Being the kind of guy that can take most songs and make them mean what I want them to mean. I take this song and make it mean to “love the one your with” as brotherly type love. It very well might mean something else but I’ll ignore that as is my want. Truthfully I take a lot of love songs and turn them into praise songs. Try it you might like it.

Don’t you just love sleeping in, I do. But the problem is that I love being up at the crack of dawn more. I guess I just love both options. Hmm, what a dilemma of happy. I suppose that I could be bummed out missing either one, but it just makes sense to rather love the one I choose on any given day. This morning I slept in an hour and still caught to sunrise. The point is this: We cannot do everything all the time so we got to love the choices that we make. This time of year it is only right to miss those whom you dearly love and cannot be with. So put on your big boy pants and get over it and bring on the love to those you are with. I had to spend one Christmas alone once. Well I really was not alone, I was trapped with 100 or more others in an airport in Montreal. I still correspond with one of the other weary travelers from that long ago Christmas away from home. We made a good go of spreading the love around even though it was not where any of us wanted to be. You can do that to, because I am not that special.

The love of the Father to send his son to be sacrificed for us is a love beyond compare.

Beauty is a special gift.

What wonderment in nature.
What wonderment in nature. | Source

Even you can spread the love baby!

Now this next part I am reluctant to share but it fits in with this notion of maybe helping someone else get through a rough Christmas. We hope you find the hope in it as it is meant.

Please sit down and read this for both our sakes or maybe for the sake of a loved one. I am crazy happy this time of year. The fact is that I am contagiously happy. Take it easy we will get heavy in a little bit. If you saw me you would not say that I am normal. And in certain ways I am not. I have a malady. Remember Paul with the thorn in his side? Well I got a thorn that Jesus just won’t take away. I gave up quite some time ago questioning God’s judgement. If I am to have this malady at least I have joy. If you knew my malady you would say to me how can you be happy and joyous even though you have this malady? I would say to you that my malady effects my emotions and feelings but it does not disturb my connection with God. Joy is a gift and is not just a simple emotion.

So you can be in a depressive state and still be joy filled. Depression messes with cognitive function. There are problems that are debilitating such as inability to concentrate and inability to remain focused for any period of time that it takes to get something done of import. It messes with what we might call motivation and it creates in us a bleak picture of the world and events around us. But it does not have to mess with the wonders of Love, Gratefulness and Joy. Did you know you can be in a hospital bed suffering from what would be called “terminal” cancer and still be in Love, Gratefulness and Joy? I know because I have done it and believe me I am not that special in that way.

Let me sound all braggadocios for a second to make a point. I suffer from depression and just got diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. Yet I see this season as one filled with Love, Gratefulness and Joy. Some would criticize that as Pollyanna syndrome. But I got this Christmas for sure, lest there be a tragic to me accident. So maybe I do not have the energy to shave. That don’t mean I gotta sit in my chair moping. I am giddy with excitement about sharing Christmas with my small family. Here I brag because it may bring to someone hope that no matter their circumstance if they let go and get into the season they too can be giddy with the good stuff. Joy can transcend all of life’s problems.

So we bring what love we bring. Hopefully we start off all the commotion with loving ourselves. Then we get to turn outward and share the seasonal love with others. And then we get to let others share their love with us and the vicious cycle of love never ends. I like to think of it as a refreshment. I know that is a funny use of that term. But it works. Let this season be a refreshing time for your love. And let yourself be refreshing in love with others. Merry Christmas.

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    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 19 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric - What an honest and open hub--one that will encourage others (I hope) to put on their big boy pants as well. This life on earth is quite short. We can mope about and make all around us miserable, or take each day God gives us as a true gift. Thank you my friend for sharing your story. I pray you find healing--you've already got the happiness part nailed.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Carb Diva, I hope you are having a marvelous season of joy. We are. There is a lot to be said for Joy. We do joy around here. Joy to the World!

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 19 months ago

      Brother Eric,

      I am so moved by this Sunday's sermon. I am saddened to hear about your infliction. I believe that those who are inflicted with cancer are ones that will be a testament for the glory of God. I send much love and prayers of healing. I praise God that my cancer is gone, so is my hair, but at least I am alive to finish out God's purpose for me in my life.

      (((((((((((( Brother Eric ))))))))))))))))

      Many healing prayers of blessings overflowing for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Jo. I learned on my last go around with cancer that hair ain't all that. My hair was all thick and quite dark, it came back all light and thin. And I join with you in giving praise for each day and a special thanks for your returning health. We have missed your encouragement and special way of sharing the love. Oh Boy! We get to go to church in a bit, what a marvelous celebratory season. Many blessings to you and yours Jo.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Children do add the merriment of Christmas; happy for you having a five year old in the house. I'm planning to buy my gift tomorrow, God willing. I know that despite your diagnosis you will enjoy the love of family, and the joy of the season. Blessings, health and prosperity on you, Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora I count you among my blessings. Wonderful article on Alzheimer's today. I am sure it will help many. Prayers seem to handle all our problems in this home, at least so far. So we will keep them up.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 19 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      I have been so often to Europe and America and seen the spirit of Christmas. Its a great time and beautifully brought out in this post. Reminds of Divali in India.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      emge, travelling for the season is always a pleasant surprise how much of the world really celibrates. Different cultures have fantastic traditions. I can't say I know where that photo was taken but my eldest son would agree with you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 19 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting sermon on Christmas and love. I am sorry to know about your being diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. May God be kind and loving towards you and heal your disease soon. Each sermon of yours is a great motivation for people and I wonder how you are able to spread love and happiness in spite of your own problems.

      My best wishes and prayers to God for your recovery from this disease.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Venkatachari. It really makes no logical sense to me. But I know it is true that my attitude seems to get better as things get worse. Tests and Doctors today and we should know more about the progression. My wife and I tend to think that it is because we pray more these days that keeps our focus on the good and not the bad.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Don't go all weird on me, Eric, when I tell you I love you and greatly appreciate your friendship.

      Merry Christmas, buddy!

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I promise not to take it wrong Bill. I consider myself very blessed that you call me friend. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of yours.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 19 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      That is what I like about Christmas, we have the opportunity to be happy, no matter our circumstances! Everyone can give something, even if it is just a part of themselves. Yes, I have purchased gifts for myself before. Since I am the family Santa, I fill my own stocking! I like your challenge, to look for others who need Christmas cheer, and share some with them, liberally!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise the is a song I sing with my children. Love love the magical thing, the more you give the more you bring. And it seems that people are more receptive to the getting love at this time of year.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      what a wonderful Christmas sermon Eric.. again the messages are just there easy pickings.. again have a very happy holiday and Christmas :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Frank from my home to yours, we wish you the best of the Christmas season.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Eric I can hardly type for tears flowing. God bless you and family. Your outlook on life is uplifting. I am not well either, maybe lupus, not sure yet. It doesn't stop me from living although depression creeps in at times when I'm in pain. Have a beautiful Christmas. I am listening to country Christmas music as I comment. I love music...

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Ruby Jean Fuller life is good here on the funny farm. Did you know that you can tuck in a five year old's shirt 10 times in 30 minutes before he sings in the church play? Somebody tell me I am already crazy and the boy is only helping me to see it. Just put on some Christmas music, I love music!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 19 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      And here I was getting a little frustrated with the New Christmas present (that I put a little in to help pay for) when I got HP working and this is the first hub I turned to (I was just trying it out, and it's after Christmas day here)

      I see a lot of those harried and grumpy people around, I just try not to be one of them, Thank you for the reminder of what we have to be thankful for.

      'We love because he first loved us'

      Merry Christmas and a happy new year

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Happiness is knowing that we are loved no matter what! Happy day after my friend.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 19 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What a great reminder! Very heartfelt and so timely for the season...I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all a very happy New Year.

      Love from the sky~

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are quite well here. Christmas is all that we hoped for. A little more peace would be nice but we will take what we can get. The new year looks great.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You shared the brightness and positive energy here.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika, that makes me very happy to know that I shared that good stuff in a good way.

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