From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 1st Sunday of Christmas

Hi everyone,

So, it really is almost Christmas. In just a couple of days, all the planning, preparing, and perspiring would have paid off and we can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Because really, as much as we want to enjoy the “reason for the season”, we pretty much always inevitably get caught up in the hectic hecticness of the busy busyness of this hap, happiest time of the year.

But that isn’t always a bad thing.

The way I see, Christmas is the time of year of many different traditions, practices, and expressions. Some people say Merry Christmas and others stick with Happy Holidays and while those edgy folk will call it Festivus. But deep down, it is still a happy time for people, friends and family still get together, there is still a celebration of relationship, friendship, and community.

And really, that is the whole point.

Let’s look at next week’s readings:
Isaiah 63:7-9
Psalm 148
Hebrews 2:10-18
Matthew 2:13-23

It is hard to live up to the hype of Christmas in the church year. These Sundays of Christmas, that is, those 1 or 2 Sundays that follow Christmas before Epiphany, are always tough to find something that lives up to the big celebration, the big hoopla, the big grand show of Christmas. But I look at these texts and I think, well, that’s ok.

It’s ok, because the point of Christmas is still there.

In that, Jesus is still with us. Jesus is still present. Jesus is still to be praised.

Herod tried to get rid of Jesus, and maybe he succeeded for a short time. But Jesus was back, being all Jesus and stuff, and continues to do so in and around our lives. And don’t we do that too? Sometimes we don’t see Jesus, or we forget about him, or maybe we even ask him politely to leave. But Jesus remains. Not in an annoying way, mind you, but in a way that reminds us of who we are, whose we are, and for whom we are.

That in the many different expressions of faith and worship, Jesus will be there. In the many avenues and paths of life, Jesus will be there. In the many different events and circumstances that we go through, Jesus is most certainly there.

And to me, this is the gift of Christmas. That while we are kept busy for various reasons, at the center of it all is the celebration of a child born unto us, giving us joy, showing us peace, and reminding us always of the gracious salvation that comes through his name.

Thanks be to God! Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

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