For life, not just for Christmas
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. I had seen similar car stickers many times, but it took on special significance as I walked my grown-up daughter's dog, Jake. Jake is a black Labrador cross and is the most lovable of dogs. He can take as much petting and attention as you can give him, and still come back for more.
Of course he started out life as a cute puppy, but soon grew into the large dog that he is now. And that may be some of the reasons that people no longer want to keep their dog, once they start to grow or become less cute. So the sticker is a timely reminder that before buying a pet for your child this Christmas, think long-term – will you be able to cope once it grows to full-size, can you afford to feed it, will the children get bored of their new “toy”?
It is easy to understand why true dog lovers want to counsel people via the car sticker against buying a dog, unless you are in it for the long haul. For them a dog really is man's best friend.
The reason for the season
As we approach the 25th of December again, I feel that I ought to have a sticker on my car that says Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas. At least the puppy is loved and cared for for a short time, whereas we sometimes find it difficult to set aside time to even think about Jesus in all the busyness and preparations for Christmas. He may be “the reason for the season”, but at times you would hardly know it.
Perhaps we are OK with the romance of the story of the cute baby born in difficult circumstances, but find it less acceptable when He grew into a man and came out with those radical, challenging ways about how we ought to live our lives. Not to mention asking us to believe that He was the Son of God and came back to life after being crucified.
Who's our best friend?
A dog may be man's best friend, as far as animals go, but Christians know that Jesus is the best friend that anyone can have. They prove day by day the truth of the words of the familiar hymn, What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. And they also know that the secret of the success of the relationship is that we can share all our joys and times of trouble with Him; He goes through life with us, day by day. He wants us to enjoy life, for He's the One that said, “I came so they (we) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of”. John 10 v10 The Message
Christmas and into the New Year
May we make this Christmas special by including Jesus in the festival, indeed making Him the centre of our celebrations. It's His birthday we are celebrating, so what sort of party can you have without the guest of honour?
And once Christmas Day itself has come and gone, let's take Him with us into every day of our lives.