December. The month of twinkly lights and hot cocoa, Christmas parties and neatly wrapped gifts. And also, December is the month of STRESS and short tempers and messy houses.
I asked my husband if he knew of a housekeeping service that cleaned houses only during December. Because of our schedules, my house is a disaster with no current plans for a good cleaning.
Working in the church during the month of december is a joy. And, PURE crazy. church-event-church-event-church-event. Pastoring, pastoring, pastoring. so much need. With little margin for error, and even less margin to breathe. No room to take notice that Christmas is for US, too.
Christmas is for pastors and children’s ministry leaders, too. Of course, our ministry is to serve. And during December, there’s a lot of serving to be done. But, in the midst of our serving, leading, pastoring, we have got to notice that Christ the Divine Child has come for us, too.
Christmas is not about crazy. It’s just the opposite. Jesus, a child, came to the world to bring peace and light, and a break from the crazy we’ve known. He came to free our souls and give new life.
Pastoring and leading in December is not just about giving endlessly to others. It’s also about reflecting on the divine magic and mysteries of the season. It’s about receiving the words of hope for ourselves as we offer hope to others. It’s about allowing the choir’s songs to inspire our spirits as we expect the songs to inspire the congregation’s spirits. Christmas is about renewing our simple faith as we teach simple lessons to the children in our churches.
Be open. Someone might just minister to you this season. WHAT.
This Christmas, of course, serve the people of your church with great zeal and commitment. But, don’t forget to pause a few times and receive the blessing of the Christ Child.
Today, trying to be gracious and kind to myself — Christmas is for me, too.