Christmas is difficult for most pastors to celebrate. First, as we grow older it seems to come around more quickly each year. Didn’t we just talk about Mary and Joseph? It’s hard to come up with something new each year that stays centered on the same Scripture passages and the same story. Then, of course, it is a busy time of the year in churches. Christmas plays and cantatas, annual report preparation, extra counseling and visiting loads—all combine to make things more hectic in the church. Let alone the increased family activity. And the cold. And the shopping. And the fact that few pastors get to travel for Christmas because of church schedules. So Christmas is often seen as an interruption in an already busy life.
But I have come to understand that everyone is busy at Christmas. Everyone is stressed and in times of stress we all need something that doesn’t spin and make us crazy. What do we have, as believers, that is solid and secure, even at Christmas? We have the old story. I have been amazed at the value placed on singing the carols we learned as children and hearing the same message of God’s love for the world in the baby in the manger. People need stability and Christmas offers a familiar and comforting message, something most of us have needed all year.
So, this Christmas season, find the message. Think about the amazing love that entered the world to find you and draw you to God. And, in the midst of all the craziness, remember.