On a scale of 1 to 10 (with “1” being a perfectly relaxed, almost-levitating state of serenity, and “10” being a human can of Red Bull), how “peaceful” would you say you feel at this very moment?
For many people, the month of December brings a long to-do list, an increased social calendar, a time of heightened distraction, and plenty of hurry. The month of December can fly by so quickly that many never slow down enough to enjoy the moments with friends and family or take the time to truly appreciate the real meaning of Christmas.
The thing is…this December is different. There’s a slower pace with many Christmas “traditions” being postponed for the year. Parties and events have been canceled. Many people are shopping online instead of driving around town to find deals. Whether we like it or not, we have been given a gift of a slower Christmas season.
So what are you going to do with this slower Christmas?
These last few weeks as a church, we have been honoring this Christmas season by celebrating Advent. Advent is a time of waiting for the coming of Jesus, but it’s hard to wait well when we’re always in a hurry.
In Luke 10 there is a great story about Jesus visiting with two sisters. In the story we are told that one of the sisters, Martha, was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made, while the other sister, Mary, just sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to what He had to say.
Martha was upset that she was left to do all the work and preparations by herself but Jesus responded to her by saying, “You are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary…” (Luke 10:41 ESV)
Maybe we have been given this gift of a slower Christmas season as a way to help us lean in and celebrate the “one thing that is necessary…,” the magnificent truth that God Himself came down to the Earth in the form of a baby, the profound truth that with Jesus’ birth we have Immanuel, God with us.
I believe, every year, it is important to slow down enough to be filled with gratefulness for the true meaning of Christmas. This year, it may be easier than ever to do the “one thing that is necessary” this Christmas season. So what are you going to do with this slower Christmas?