by Chris Watkins - Student Minister
It is officially after Thanksgiving. We had our Hanging of the Green service at church, and so many of us are either in the process or have already decorated our house for this Christmas season. It can be stressful, but it can also be relaxing. This season personally has brought many different emotions this year, sadness for another year without some loved ones, joy and laughter of seeing our 2 year old fall in love with Christmas trees and lights (even in the Yukon lights traffic), and the excitement and joy that comes in celebrating Jesus’ birth. Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech words come to mind when he said, “And when people say to me, “How do you get through life?” Each day’s the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day… If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” It is okay to have mixed emotions this season. The key is to make sure you do not face it alone.
As we approach this season let’s remember we do not necessarily know what each person is facing this year. This year could be the first without a loved one, it could be the first Christmas with a new baby, it could be just another Christmas where work has been stressful and the feeling is Bah Humbug. As the Church, let’s be there to support one another by sharing the love of Christ with everyone. John 13:34-35 says, “Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. Some of us can do this by extending a loving hand, ear, or even a dinner table invite. Others may need to watch what we say when people are in a “rush” on the roads and in the stores. (Heads up that it is less than 30 days before Christmas Day so if you haven’t ordered or shopped for gifts yet, the stores are getting full of people).
As we enter this season of advent, let’s find a devotional for the family to walk through together to remain focused on Jesus and what this season is truly about. Lifeway and Amazon have several great options for Christ centered Christmas advent calendars and Bible studies. I am eager to see how we share Jesus with those coming to the church for our Christmas Village or Christmas Eve services, but I am also eager to see how we as a church can love our community outside the walls of this church as well. Hope to see you all in the coming days as we celebrate Jesus' birth together!