In an interview several years ago with Christianity Today, Brennan Manning said …

“I believe that the real difference in the American church is not between conservatives and liberals, fundamentalists and charismatics, nor between Republicans and Democrats. The real difference is between the aware and the unaware.

Those who are aware of God’s magnificent love are spontaneously grateful, he said. The more you’re filled with gratitude, the more you’re filled with joy, and the more of God you experience.

He said, “We’re not joyful and then become grateful, we’re grateful and that makes us joyful.”

We’re entering into a season in which it is never more important to be aware, and never easier not to be. In the midst of all our busy-ness, we’re inclined to lose sight of, at least for awhile, that which matters most.

Love came down at Christmas, the song says. Awareness of this love leads to gratitude. Gratitude leads to joy. And joy is the promise of Christmas fulfilled.

Let’s resolve, then, to remain intentionally aware in the days to come — to meditate each morning on God’s magnificent love, and how it has been demonstrated to us through his Son Jesus Christ.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)