Saturday I was up at 5:30am and in my kitchen preparing food for the brunch/cookie exchange I was hosting at the church for the women. By 8:30am, I had that all done and was on my way to the church to finish the set up. Greg came with me and helped out until some of the women arrived, and by 10am I had the tables laid, the food was being plated and Greg had Christmas hymns playing over the speakers. The turn out was amazing, and everything ran smoothly from my opening lines to the centerpiece demonstration. Some of the young girls at church came as well (ages 11 – 13) and that was nice to see; One of them came in carrying 5 dozen cookies that she baked with her dad, the other was a fantastic help to me while I demonstrated the construction of a Christmas centerpiece for the group. Everyone seemed to have a great time and it was suggested I make it an annual event. Have I mentioned I LOVE my church family??
On Sunday we had church in the morning and then in the afternoon our friends Eric and Lins came for lunch. We had our own mini-Christmas dinner with them, but chicken instead of turkey, potatos, veg, gravy and cranberry sauce with apple pie for dessert. It was so relaxing, and afterwards we went downtown to the Eldon House (the oldest historical home in London) and toured the inside with all of its antique Christmas decorations. We finished the afternoon by going for latte’s around the corner and a drive around some neat neighborhoods.
That evening was the Christmas concert, and although my class had a little skit that they were doing, the guy who organized it all from set up to completion was Greg. It was so exciting to see how much effort he put into the evening, and his parents came up to watch as well. All the classes performed separate skits, then the Pastor spoke and afterwards they served cider and cookies in the gym, but Greg, his parents and I sneaked out went for pizza :D.
So I’m telling you all of this because my busy schedule has totally consumed me the past few weeks. As I go from event to event, I find myself thinking that its only a few weeks until the holidays are over… hang in there… and in and around all of this, my brain is a constant schedule, checking off duties, sorting, rearranging and double checking. Even during the Christmas concert last night, while I watched the skits my mind was reviewing the weekend and planning for the week ahead. "Did I sort the candy into the bowls?", "Dont forget to buy more Christmas cards…", "Whose left to buy for…", etc; And somewhere on stage, the college and careers group was setting up for their skit, while my mind still roamed my schedule.
The group on stage was throwing a birthday party, but no one was paying attention to the birthday boy. They wouldnt share their food with him, They wouldnt include him in their games…. still my mind was on my schedule, wondering where all my kids were so I could get them on stage on time. Then the group on stage yelled that it was time to open the presents, but there were no gifts for the birthday boy, the guests only brought gifts for each other and the birthday boy stayed alone and ignore. Suddenly, they had my attention and I realized what the message was they were sending. As the party on stage ended and the guests exited, the lone figure stood on stage in his birthday hat and said, "I wonder if this is how Jesus feels".
My scheduling brain, my busy weekends, my Christmas shopping… I totally felt convicted. How many times have I considered Jesus in my plans to celebrate HIS birthday? I was so involved, so carried away on the festivities that I began celebrating the holiday of the world and not one of the most sacred holidays of my faith.
It happens so subtly, but I’m glad I’m aware of it before the season is over. There are still plans, there’s still a massive schedule in my brain but now I’m checking myself; If I’m thinking of Christmas, I’m going to think of it as the birthday celebration of Jesus Christ our Saviour.