The greenery at Christmas symbolizes the life of God in Christ Jesus. The Christmas wreath does this in two different ways: by being made out of evergreen plants, and also by being formed in a circle, which – with no begining and no end – is a symbol of eternity. Life means continual growth.
Our text this morning is the last official words we received from Simon Peter – a picture of growing in grace. When he wrote them he was old and his days on earth would soon come to an end. He had been a revered leader among the Christians. His humble beginning, his weaknesses, his denial of Christ, as well as his courageous boldness were all known: the Galilean fisherman who became a fisher of men. But in his final words he does not lash out at his critics, nor seek to defend his honor, nor make any claim to greatness. No, he simply speaks a word of encouragement to all to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
It is a temptation to take off these days and to put your brain on neutral. No school, no work, no learning! However, the original design of having holidays was not to avoid learning, but to turn our attention to a different kind of learning – the fun kind of learning. The kind of learning that strengthens our souls. I pray that this Christmastime you will enjoy some grace growth in your life and in your family.