"Are you ready for Christmas?" This is a question we'll hear more and more as the
holiday approaches. Most of the time, the one asking the question is referring to shopping, baking, etc. But I'm asking with a different meaning in mind.
Every country and culture has its own Christmas traditions. Most families have their own traditions that have special meaning to them, some of which become the focus of much stress and tension.
Does it really have to be this way? Why do we, every year, talk about relaxing more at Christmas and really enjoying the season, but rarely doing anything about it ourselves? Those of us in positions of leadership in our churches are often the
most rushed, as we involve ourselves in final preparations for special services
(and sometimes multiple services!).
There may not be a lot we can do about the rush that Christmas brings, without
alienating a lot of people who will not understand or agree. But we can take
extra precautions to literally carve out some time for ourselves and our families. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions:
1. Make sure you get enough rest, even if you have to sleep in one day.
2. Carefully guard your quiet time with God, perhaps even spending a little longer
in prayer and solitude.
3. Spend some time sitting in your den or living room one night, alone, with no television or radio, and no lights. Remind yourself of the sheer wonder of God bursting into human history, becoming one of us. Try to imagine what it must have been like on that night the angels appeared to the shepherds: what did they see, hear, feel?
4. If you are married, make sure that your spouse has an opportunity to do the
5. Refuse to take on more than you are physically capable of doing. Learn to say
"no," realizing that this may be the only way you will be able to say "yes" to God.
Are you ready for Christmas?
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com