Tuesday, December 9, 2008

16 Days until Christmas! Like we need any more pressure!

My Children have one of those classic before-Christmas-paper-chains, from which they count down to the event of events, Christmas. Each day, one of the children removes one of the links in the chain as a reminder that Christmas is getting closer. It is somewhat of a secular reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Advent Calendars serve much of the same purpose for us within the church.

Sometimes, I think that it is defeating its purpose. I think that the purpose of the Advent Calendar and the aforementioned paper chain is to prepare oneself for Christmas, to be reminded that Christmas is coming. But often times it serves as an incendiary device in our home. There is always a battle for who tore the last link; whose turn it is this time; and, a written agreement in principle for who will be the one to rip the next link.

In spite of the bellicose nature by which the link is fractured, I am sure of one thing: Christmas is only 16 days away.

So, if the tension by which my information was garnered is not enough to make me a bit tense, I’m sure the mere fact that there are only 16 days until Christmas is enough to make me a bit unsettled. In those 16 days, there is so little time, and so much to do. The list keeps growing, and the days only become shorter. Christmas is coming.

Take a deep breath!

I had a conversation with some folks this morning who were asked to consider the question, “What will you DO in the coming weeks to become a more fully devoted follower of Christ?” We noted that the word “do” was capitalized, just as it is above. It brought with it the very strong connotation that in order to be a follower of Christ – you had to DO something. It made us feel less likely to want to “do” anything. “Doing” only added to the things that we are expected to “do,” feel as if we need to “do,” and know that ultimately we will have to “do” in the coming weeks.

Our conclusion was that we might be better served at simply trying to “BE” more fully devoted followers of Christ. And I think we were onto something.

Christmas is only 16 days away, and I hope that you don’t lose the true meaning of this season in the midst of everything that you have to “DO.” I encourage you to simply “BE.”

This week’s epistle lesson is a good reminder. The writer says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24.

That will be my prayer for you this week!

In Worship this Sunday, our children will be sharing a story entitled “’Twas the Year Before Christmas.” I will also be sharing a very brief message entitled, “Who will it be?” I hope that you will be a more fully devoted follower of Christ and invite someone to experience the wonder of Children and God’s Word. Stay following worship for a fellowship meal and share in God’s grace. I look forward to greeting you personally.

Please pray for me, and know that I am praying for you.

1 comment:

Brett Probert said...

I rejoice always, of course, for your hair!