From email Ministry
Each year we ring in the holiday season by attending dozens of holidaymeetings. This Christmas committee, that planning event. Then we still haveto make the rounds to every store in the metro-plex. 'Tis the season forweeks of ulcer inducing meetings and shopping, then wrapping for about 72straight hours. Christmas morning I find myself sitting around the tree witha glazed look and half a roll of tape stuck in my hair.
I stack three stories of gifts in front of each child. Within ten minuteswe're up to our eyeballs in wrapping paper. I have five children. That'sfive three-story gift stacks and about 1200 yards of wrapping paper. Lastyear it took us three days to find the cat.
I was scanning for Christmas sales when I ran across an Internet ad: "100FREE HOURS!" That's it! That's what I want for Christmas! Not the Internetservice--just the hours. My holiday calendar could make grown men weep.
Even if we can't have a chestnut or two roasting on an open fire, it seemswe should at least be able to find time for some popcorn popping in themicrowave. Visions of sugarplums? I don't think so. There hasn't been asilent night around our place since the season began.
Maybe we're being sucked in to the idea that we need to "super size" theholidays the same way we're tempted to upgrade every fast food lunch. Weconvince ourselves that to have a socially complete Christmas, we need tosuper-size our schedules--adding more, spending more, eating more. I'mpopping Tums just thinking about it.
But let's take a look at the big Christmas picture. Jesus didn't come intothe world so that we could enjoy a nice story about a reindeer. He didn'tcome so that our kids could put on a cute play.
Christ was born so that through his sacrificial death, we could bereconciled to a holy God. Emmanuel, "God With Us," came to pay our sin debt.Christmas is not for making us overworked and overwhelmed, but forcelebrating how we have been made overcomers.
The season becomes a real celebration when we learn to rest in the faithfulhands of the One who has overcome the world. Guess what we find when we restin him: Peace! Jesus said in John 16:33, "...in me you may have peace. Inthe world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcomethe world." The Lord has done the overcoming on our behalf. He's the one whogives peace. The only thing we truly need to work for is the restingability.If your holiday schedule is keeping you up nights and you'd like a littlesleep in heavenly peace, maybe 'tis the season for saying some "no's"--forsanity's sake. As for that Internet ad, if someone could actually give methose extra 100 hours, what would I do with them? Would I cram them to thebrim with more activities? The truth is that we have loads of time--24 hoursevery day. Focusing 24/7 on the God who provided Christmas is the way tofind a fulfilling holiday season.I've decided to take time to stop and smell the poinsettias- -and find thecat.