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I was recently complaining to my husband that my Christmas to-do list was overwhelming me. Feeling stressed and tired, I told him that the chaos of multiple boxes of Christmas decorations scattered through the house, the half-finished tree, and a pile of catalogues of yet-to-be-ordered presents were just too much. My sweet husband said he would be glad to do his part to help and began cleaning up and putting away the empty boxes, clearing the way to finish the decorating.
In the meantime, I set out to run my errands. It was in a busy parking lot that I saw a bumper sticker, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” I suddenly realized why I was feeling so overwhelmed. I was running on empty because I had forgotten the most important thing!
I had forgotten that God chose to be born a helpless baby—to be raised by human parents, to be subjected to the pressures and temptations of the world, just like me. The pressure to surrender to the hype that one must over-spend, over-eat, and over-party at Christmastime is overwhelming, and I had succumbed.
The awesomeness of the way of Christ’s coming into the world outshines the silly Christmas songs and the pressure to buy the perfect gifts for my loved ones. These things are not what Christmas is truly all about.
It’s about Jesus, who lived, died, and was raised from the dead for our sake, because God loves us more that we can ever imagine.
It’s also about loving each other. My husband’s loving help and even today’s service of Lessons and Carols remind me of this. Because Jesus also knew the joys of family and friends, of sharing food and drink, and of celebrating life, we celebrate too!
How awesome to have a God who understands us because he was one of us and experienced what it is like to be human—and loves us enough to die for us!
“Then let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord; that hath made heaven and earth of nought, and with his blood our life hath bought.” (The First Noel, English carol, 17th century)
The Rev. Carol BrooksSupport Groups & Crisis Care
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