I've been thinking that I should write some sort of Christmas blog. The problem is that depending on the day (or sometimes the hour) I haven't decided how I feel about Christmas this year.
What? you say. How can you, a children's pastor, feel anything but joy and excitement about Christmas?
Well, first of all my Christmas tree has too many white ornaments on it. I know that seems like a very superficial reason to not be excited about Christmas, but really, my tree used to be filled with blue and red ornaments and lots of "Hallmarky" types too... It just doesn't seem like my tree. We must be missing a box of Christmas decorations... And that's the other thing. I've put up nine nativity sets and five stockings are hanging in the hall, but the house somehow seems Underdecorated this year. I'm missing something.
We aren't invited to any parties, we're not having any parties, we haven't connected here quite like I have wanted to. I'm not quite complaining because other years (read- when we lived in Greensboro) we were probably too busy. Some down time is good.
My Mom is in heaven, my Dad is in a hospital rehab center. My brother got a divorce this year (the first in our family); Christmas day is just going to be downright strange.
So that's the "Not So Happy Hour". Anybody else here this year?
Then there is the "I'm so blessed I can hardly stand it" hour. My children are awesome. And other then a few sore throats, we are all healthy. We all love Jesus and want him to guide our lives. We live in a wonderful house with a livingroom big enough to spin in. We've managed to buy some Christmas presents even in this economy. We are going to be able to travel to see family this year. We've had a great year of ministry, training Teen challenge staff all over the world.
What can get better than this?
So there it is. How I feel this Christmas. A lot like that very first Christmas, I think. What again???
Well, I can't imagine that Mary was very happy to be heading to Bethlehem being nine months pregnant, you know? And then when they got there, to be told that there was no room in the inn? I would be fit to be tied! I am sure that she was pretty tired and grumpy by the time they got settled in the hay. And I"m guessing that she had probably been having labor pains all day! Man, what a Christmas!
But all of that frustration changed for Mary as soon as that little baby was born . When she saw that sweet little face and those teeny tiny God hands everything negative and hard was forgotten... for a time. Yes, He changed everything for Mary.... and for the rest of us... for all time.
We'll have our moments of yuck occasionally, I'm sure. But because Jesus came on that very first Christmas, we can have more than a just a "Happy Hour". We can have a "Happily ever after." And that's what Christmas is all about, nt my silly old Christmas tree.