So it begins, the crazy season of Christmas. The infamous “BLACK FRIDAY” has passed and a few diligent shoppers are nearly finished purchasing gifts. Other shoppers stayed home gearing up for Cyber Monday while laughing at all the crazies who fully embrace the anticipated Black Friday.
As your pastor I must confess, for three consecutive years I left my warm comfortable bed at 4AM with a single purpose. I was driven by the intense desire to experience Menards. There is a sick excitement in standing in tremendous line (500yds), free candy canes, and a detailed map of the entire store. I truly missed the experience this year but there is always the possibility of next year.
I am going to say the majority of our country loses sanity by the time Christmas rolls around. The majority of Christ followers included. We have to be here, we have to be there, this program, that program, dinner for the family, dinner for the friends, stress, in-laws, decorations, a little more stress maybe. I truly am sick and tired of the stress that accompanies the season. It grieves my heart really. When it comes down to it the majority of our stress comes from the choices we make or don’t make. When we say yes to the “hoopla” of Christmas what inevitably happens is we find Jesus having very little room in the season that is named after him. We don’t say yes to all the hoopla of the season at once. It happens little by little until we find ourselves just hoping for it all to end.
So now what hope do we have left? What hope exists for celebrating the humble arrival of Jesus our Lord and Savior? The only hope we have is returning to the SIMPLICITY of CHRISTMAS. How do we do this, what does this look like?
We begin by “Putting First things First.” 1) Assess the prior Christmas season. 2) Identify the decisions that lead to high stress. 3) Say no when faced with some of the same decisions this year? 4) Enjoy restoring Jesus to the throne of HIS SEASON.
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." -Matthew 2:2