Before I complete my remarks on getting ready for Christmas, there is a story I must share with you.
Thursday afternoon of last week, Ann and I were sitting in the den watching our leaf man moving leaves from our yard. We had the main door open and were just observing through the storm door. Ann decided that the dog needed to go for a walk on the leash and so out they went. In a few minutes both ladies came back into the house and were again looking out the door. They had been in the house no more than 30 seconds when there arose a clatter outside the door. I looked and there went a buck deer, I would say a 6-pointer, right in front of the door. I heard leaf man, Ricky, hollering. When I went to the door Ricky said the buck was chasing a doe. There just has to be a Christmas theme in that episode. If Ann had been just a few seconds later getting into the house, Granny would have gotten run over by a reindeer.
Now let’s get ready for Christmas.
Are you already exhausted getting ready for Christmas?
Calendars fill up quickly this time of year. Decorations must be done just right inside the house as well as outside. Several Christmas parties are on the calendar and cannot be forgotten. The school has a number of special activities. We must be sure to attend those. Shopping has to be done. This surely will take a lot of time. The right present must be found for everyone on the Christmas list.
There are Christmas parades in town and surrounding towns and we simply must attend those. Grocery shopping must be done in order to prepare several meals planned for friends. After taking a look, our calendar is filling up very fast or is it full?
The church has Christmas Eve communion planned. Maybe we can make this service but truthfully it looks doubtful. There are several conflicts with this date and we will have to select which activity we feel is a must. Several large churches have cancelled services the Sunday before Christmas. Maybe that is a good idea with so many other places we need to go on that day. After all gathering of families is a must on Christmas.
Have you heard any of these woes during this Christmas season? We may not articulate these conflicts aloud but I imagine they have been considered silently by some of us.
Author John Grisham wrote a book entitled, “Skipping Christmas.” The idea in his book was to give fewer and less expensive gifts, skip Santa Claus, and do as much as possible to help the unfortunate people in our community and the world. With some exceptions, I applaud the ideas expressed by Mr. Grisham. We will not do these things that Grisham suggest but we probably should.
I don’t want us to skip Christmas but it can likely happen without our realizing it or giving a dime to those in need. We become so busy that Christmas will arrive and we truly have not noticed whose birthday we celebrate.
Reason for the season
We need to take note of the fact that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Without God coming into the world as a little baby, born in a manager in Bethlehem, there never would have been a Christmas.
The birth of Jesus was a lowly birth in a far away, unknown place. Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem to register in a census demanded by Ceasar Augustus. There was no room in the inn for this family. The place was crowded and the Holy family was offered a place to stay which most scholars of the Bible believe was a cave. It was there that Jesus Christ was born. It was Jesus who brought Salvation to us. Because of His lowly birth we can choose eternal life.
I want to ask each of you to check your calendar. Have you made any time available to honor this Holy One?
If you have not let me urge you to do so. Plan to attend the worship services your church has planned. Go to your church and Worship Jesus Christ our King.
Above all don’t let your busy schedule cause you to skip Christmas.
Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a minister in the United Methodist Church. He is Pastor of the Shady Grove UM Church in Calhoun County. McCord represents District Three on the Calhoun County School Board and presently is the Chairman of the Board. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.