How are you doing? Here we are, 1/2 way through the Christmas season. So, if we were together and I asked you, “How are you doing?,” what would you say?
During the year, the most common answer I hear to that question falls clearly into the “busy” category, i.e., “I’ve got a lot going on,” “It’s been really busy,” “Things have been crazy,” etc., etc. But when it comes to Christmas, everyone is especially busy! Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is a wonderful season. And Christmas can also be a difficult and stressful season. It’s a season full of great opportunities and increased goodwill. And, when you combine high expectations, a packed calendar, extra expenses, and family . . . it can also be a difficult and painful season.
The first Christmas wasn’t just “kind of busy” for Jesus and his family – it was chaos-crisis level busyness. It began while Jesus was still in the womb and escalated in his birth through his infancy. In Christmas, God entered into a busy and stressful world. God enters into our busy and stressful lives and worlds! Take a moment to let that sink in. Has God entered into your busy life or are you doing it alone?
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay for us to just keep going at the pace we are going. Everyone is too busy. We all know that. It’s a problem. We’ve known that for a while. Consider the following:
“Experts on stress, wellness, helicopter parenting, and the modern work culture say that busyness has become an epidemic in the U.S. Many people now regard downtime or time off as something that should not be valued, says Brigid Schulte, an expert on the busyness epidemic who wrote “Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One has the Time,” a book about time pressures and modern life.”
But here’s the deal. That quote is from an article on the busyness epidemic written in 2015. Do you know anyone who’s less busy in 2019 than they were four years ago?! We’ve all known for years that we were too busy and that it was a problem. So, why do we keep doing it? Why are we so busy?
This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we continue our season focusing on “The Joys & Pains of Christmas.” Unfortunately, during the longest Christ-focused calendar season of the year, we are often too busy with Christmas to meet Christ. Is it possible for Christmas time to be a special, sacred time of worship, healing, and spiritual growth? That’s going to be our focus, goal, and hope this Christmas here at Church of the Redeemer. So take a few moments to read and reflect on busyness, Christmas, and Jesus in Luke 2:4-7, Matthew 2:13- 14, Luke 2:41-51, and Luke 10:48-52.
During this special season, I especially look forward to worshiping with you, my church family, this Sunday.
Yours in Christ,