Letting Christ Shine In You At Christmas
by Nike Chillemi
The Christmas season can get kinda funny when I start thinking about God’s will and plan for me. That’s true even though I dearly desire for God’s priorities to be my priorities.
Right after Thanksgiving, if not before, I’m in the Christmas spirit. Things seem a little lighter, a little brighter. You don’t have to be a believer to feel this. Lots of individuals who do not classify themselves as Christians have moments during the Christmas season when they get all warm and fuzzy inside and they can’t put their finger on why. I think the light of Jesus coming into the world as a tiny baby in a manger simply has that effect on people. As a writer, I love a good story and this story warms us inside.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [Gospel of Luke: 7-11 ~ KJV]
On the other hand, my schedule is so full during this time of year that even though I’m all wrapped up in holiday goings on, I can forget the reason for the season, as they say. Then I have to remind myself to slow down and let Christ shine through me. To do this, I’ve got to push aside the decorating, the cooking, the menu planning, the Christmas card sending, and make sure I’m connected to God, listening to Him, letting him direct the show.
But God will have His way and very often at Christmas He presents to me somebody with a great need, somebody who’s lonely… and I will welcome that person as a friend, include them at my Christmas dinner table, and/or get them a gift.
In my 1940s Christmas novel GOODBYE NOEL, pediatric nurse Katrina Lenart has been asked by the local police chief to care for an infant whose mother has been found murdered in front of a decorated Christmas tree. Katrina soon falls in love with the baby and we see Christ’s love shine through her as she sets her mind and will to protect this child from a heinous killer. At one point, Katrina risks her own life to save the infant from a kidnapping. I loved writing this Christmas story and particularly enjoyed crafting Katrina, whose faith grows and deepens as the novel goes forward through all the twists and turns of a murder mystery novel.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. BURNING HEARTS, the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, finaled in the Grace Awards 2011 in the Romance/Historical Romance category. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, third in the series released July, 2012, and DARKEST HOUR, the fourth in the series released in February, 2013. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).