Dear friends!
 I would like to share with you what Christmas means to me. 
The first thing that comes to my mind is the word DIGNITY. 
At a time of great social and financial crisis, complaining does not seem to be the best thing to do especially for those who call themselves Christians! 
Joseph and Mary did not complain about the failure to find a suitable place to give birth to Jesus, but with DIGNITY, they found a place, even if humble, to proceed with the plan of God for their lives. 
They certainly would have liked a better place, but if they only complained they would lose not only their dignity but also the opportunity to fulfill the plan of God in their lives. 
In hard and critical moments, we have a choice: either lose our dignity or work hard to find an alternative to accomplish God’s plan for our lives! 
The second word that comes to my mind is ALTERNATIVE. 
Joseph and Mary with dignity were looking for an alternative and found it in a stable. 
They do not have heating but find an ox and a donkey to produce heat. 
They do not have a CRIBB but find a manger. 
They do not have light but they do get a full moon and the stars. 
If there is dignity we always can find an alternative, motivated by the fact that the plan of God will always be accomplished if we allow ourselves to be guided by Him! 
Someone said that God creates a road where it seems not there be one! 
The third word that comes to mind is FILTER. 
In times of crisis, I always wonder WHY, why me, why God does not seem to provide. 
The main reason is that our alternatives that seem crazy to human minds always create a filter through which God connects us to the right people who love us for who we are and what we stand for and not for what we have and show. 
The Magi worshiped Jesus, the King, for what it was, even if he was born in a stable! 
I am convinced that what we are is way more important than what we do and show off. 
Christmas makes clear from the beginning that Jesus is the Son of God, who is great within and who is interested in changing our hearts rather than our outward appearance! 
Therefore my wish is that this Christmas we will remove unnecessary earthly complaints and reveal in our lives DIGNITY, ALTERNATIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE FILTERS through which we will test the people with whom we want to invest our lives to fulfill the plan that God has in mind for each and everyone of us!
 Merry Christmas! 
Guy Sottile

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