As people filled with the Christian faith, we know that there is another “Reason for the Season.” We know that it’s more than parties and gift exchanges.
We know that beneath all the festivities is a profound and sometimes astounding truth:
God loves us so much that He came into our world to show us just what God’s heart is really all about.
As much as we might like to ignore that truth with bright lights, tasty food and decorative packages, it’s still right there, waiting for us to pause and think about what it means for our soul.
Before Christmas gets into full swing around your home, can you take time to pause and think about what the birth of Christ means for you?
We celebrate his birthday on Dec. 25, (even though we don’t know the actual date.) as a sign that the darkest part of the year has no sway over us.
And we proclaim that God is not only a loving God but an up close and personal God.
We also share that God is not a reward we get for being good, (like many Christmas presents seem to be) and that God is
not waiting for us at the end of the journey.
Instead we affirm that God is right here with us in the midst of the journey.
And we also know that the journey doesn’t end with death. For we cannot celebrate Christmas without thinking of Easter and the Resurrection.
So as you plan and participate in all the activities, you can be different. For example, is your gift buying able to be changed by the presence of Christ?
Did you know that at our OUMC Alternative Christmas Fair on Sun. Dec. 2, you can buy “gifts” such as windows and doors for Habitat for Humanity, or a cow for a family in poverty through the Heifer Project …. And give them in honor of a loved one! (See our OUMC order blank below or go a web-based Alternate Christmas Fair with lots of great ideas.)
You then give your loved one a card and tell them how much cherish them as you both help deserving individuals.
You can also plan times with your family to sit and not only read the Christmas Story, but talk about what it means as well.
You can make cookies and Christmas decorations in “Christ-remembering” shapes (Christmons), and you can make sure “Merry Christmas” is not only on your lips but also in your heart.
Of course, you can also participate in all our faith-filled activities like Christmas Caroling to our Homebound, collecting toys & food, worshipping every Sunday, and on Christmas Eve.
Be creative in putting more “Christ” in Christmas. Take time every day to sit quietly, read the bible and pray with our Lord by your side. Share what you’re doing with others. (Recently I heard of a woman who picked a Christmas card from last year’s box every day and then prayed for that person.) Check out the list from an earlier post.
All these things will make this Christmas a very different Christmas for you.
They will allow God to speak to your heart, to lead you in new directions, to quiet the fears and anxieties that often come with this season.
Christmas can be a time of overwhelming busy-ness… OR it can be a time of renewal and reflection. It’s our choice. Let’s help each other celebrate the deeper Christmas.
How goes it with your soul? (…And what scripture has stayed with you lately?)
What would others say they learned about Christ from you this week?
Grace and Peace, Pastor Terry