From Your Pastor's Heart - 11/27/2017
In case you have not done the math, there are only 32 days separating Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. That is a short span of time to recover from one major holiday and prepare for the next. Two of the biggest festivities on the Christian calendar are right together at the end of the year. This makes for some stressful times, at home and at church. Trying to schedule special events for family and church family can get to be a real challenge for all of us. Like most of you, our December calendar is filled with activities.
At the same time, this is also one of the most exciting times of the year for us, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We get to honor God with our thanksgiving and praise, while stuffing our faces with our favorite holiday foods. We also get to celebrate the birth of our Savior and express love for one another through the giving of gifts. This season of the year reminds us of how God has richly blessed our lives! It is a time for reflecting and rejoicing by God’s people!
My Christmas memories as a young boy “Growing Up On Dump Ground Road” include: chopping down a real tree from the woods across the road; hanging those huge, multi-colored lights on the tree; stringing popcorn to decorate the tree; adding water to the stand to keep the tree from drying out; and, hanging our favorite ornaments on the tree. There were not a lot of presents under our tree, but we were eager to shake them and try to guess what was in each package. I also remember finding fruit, nuts, candy, and chewing gum in our stockings. The cost of the gifts was not important, but we were all excited to have something new to enjoy.
There is a part of me that wishes we could return to those slower, simpler times. I know that the holidays were tough for my poor parents, trying to purchase Christmas gifts for five children. Yet, our schedules were not so hectic back then. We had the annual Christmas parade downtown and the cantata at church. We had our own family time on Christmas morning, usually followed by a gathering of relatives at my grandmother’s house next door. However, there was not such a rush from one holiday to the next. We need to take time to enjoy the afterglow of our Thanksgiving celebration before turning
our attention to the next holiday. We need a rule that you cannot mention Christmas until after all the Thanksgiving turkey is gone!
Serving in love,