‘Tis the Season

Today is the first day of December. Thanksgiving has passed, so it is officially acceptable to focus on Christmas. It’s time to start decorating the house, inside and out. As many of you know, I was married a little less than a month ago. My wife has moved in, and we’ve been working at combining all our stuff and organizing the house. All that to say, we are nowhere near being ready to decorate for the holiday. Maybe we can just wrap all the moving boxes that we have stationed throughout pretty much every room in the house. 

Christmas is known for its hustle and bustle. There’s seemingly an endless amount to do and not enough time to do it all. The common refrain this time of the year is, “I can’t believe it’s Christmas already! Where did the year go?” I have said these already. For most of us, we still have to shop, decorate, wrap presents, make plans, cook, bake, send Christmas cards, and a myriad of other things as December 25th looms large on the calendar. While it may be the most wonderful time of year, it is also the busiest. 

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the to-do lists of the season. Quite frankly, we don’t have any other choice. Christmas comes with a lot of expectations— those we place on ourselves and those that are placed upon us. There are lots of places we need to go and lots of people we need to see. It is a 25ish day sprint from now until we can finally take a moment to catch our breath again. 

This is why Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday.  That may seem a little bit sacrilegious; I’ll accept that accusation. Some people don’t love Christmas because they have painful or disappointing memories of the day. That’s not the case for me; mine have always been good. My issue is that it becomes all about the doing. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Christmas. Christmas Eve is my favorite church service of the year. Everything seems to slow down for that hour. We hear the story of the baby that was born to save the world, the baby born to die for your sins and mine. Everyone seems to sing a little louder as we go into the chorus of Angles We Have Heard on High or Silent Night. Families are together. Kids are dreaming about tearing into the packages under the tree the next morning, parents are anxiously awaiting the smiles that will come across the face of their children. All of us get lost in the joy that this holiday was meant to be. For just a little bit of time, we are not focused on the doing. We are focused on Jesus the Immanuel, “God with us.”

I think that it’s safe to say that most of us know what this season is truly about. It’s ultimately about celebrating the birth of Christ, the embodiment of God’s love. The manger forever has the cross looming in the background. I’m not here to chastise you for running around crazily and trying to make this Christmas perfect for you and your family. That’s simply what happens this time of year. The thing that I want for all of us to do is to take a moment every day and stop the doing of Christmas. Let’s shift our eyes from price tags and tangled-up strands of lights and focus them heavenward. Then, take a deep breath and think about Jesus and his love for you. Thank him for leaving the heavenly realm for a time and coming to the world to be with us, so that we could be with Him for all eternity. If we do that regularly, our hearts, minds, and souls will be touched by the One who made them. Just for a minute, stop the doing, and focus simply on the being with Christ. After all, that is what this season is really about. 

If you liked this, then I think that you’ll enjoy my book. You can buy it by going here. Also, I have a podcast also called His Kingdom/ Our Good. It’s available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, and Anchor.

Published by smith1626

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot, WV. Mostly, I am a sinner saved by amazing grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: