Some of you know that my grandmother just turned 98. She lives alone, walks her dog, drives to get her hair done. Other than some blood pressure issues, she's in great health and mentally sharp as a tack. Her mother lived to be 92... with diabetes. HER parents both lived to 96. So at 46, I could conceivably argue that I'm not "middle-aged" yet. I've obviously got a serious advantage when it comes to the gene pool!
But really, what does that matter? We're not guaranteed another day, ever. I might get hit by a bus, a condition that my genes won't be able to influence. What matters is this day. Those days that led up to this day - let's see, that would be 16,902 of them - have made me who I am. I can't change a single one of them, and regret only steals life from today. Worrying about tomorrow won't get me to it, or through it, more easily. It will just rob me of today.
Christmas is a time of indescribable joy for Christians, because without it, we don't get Easter. Without Easter, we aren't saved. Without salvation, we are eternally separated from God. So every single Christmas should be approached and celebrated with eternal gratitude and thanksgiving. Gifts don't matter. Age doesn't matter. Finances don't matter. The state of the world doesn't matter. All those things will pass away, but the promise brought by that baby will never pass away.
It's almost a new year. Time for evaluation and new beginnings. Time for reflection on the previous year. Time to be thankful for the maturity and freedom your age has brought, and to look forward to growing older only in body in 2012. Have you made bad choices about your diet, exercise, relationship? Start over. Have you gotten stuck in a rut because you've believed that you are "middle aged" and that comes with certain expectations? Start over!
Jesus came - at Christmas - to give you life, and give it abundantly. There's no age limit. Keep your mind and spirit young and free! There's work to do in the Kingdom until the day you die... Start this Christmas.