It's the Most Busiest Time of the Year!

This morning I've been at home with a sick kid-- Linus (pink eyes). While he's been running through the house playing (in the freezer, in the pantry, just about anywhere I do not need him to be), I've been planning worship services. Discerning where God is leading me as I make such preparations is always an interesting and surprising experience. Usually I plan series out months in advance. With the Revelation series, however, it has unfolded on a weekly basis-- much to the frustration of my fellow worship leaders! Maybe that's a good message for us consider as our calendars turn over into the month of December: leave a little room for God to surprise us in the midst of all the busy-ness we'll face over the next 3 1/2 weeks.

For example, take a look at my schedule over the next few weeks (this stuff is in addition to my regular stuff, like meetings and Bible study):
December 4: Christmas Party
December 5: Breakfast with Santa, followed by District Christmas Party
December 8: Christmas by Candlelight (you know I am a United Methodist Woman!)
December 10: Senior Dinner-- I am the featured entertainment, if you can believe it!
December 11: PUMC Staff Christmas Lunch. Wedding Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner that night in Dallas.
December 12: Men's Breakfast, followed by PUMC Planning for 2010. Wedding at SMU that evening.
December 13: Christmas Parade in the afternoon. PUMC/St. Paul Christmas concert that evening.
December 24: Three Christmas Eve services.

Now, compared to some of your schedules, that may be light-- and I am not complaining about it at all. I look forward to everything listed there (some more than others!!). But you see the point-- this stuff is all extra! It has to be squeezed in among everything I already do. Thankfully Christy and I have finished all of our Christmas shopping already, so that removes a huge source of stress.

This is why it is important to keep some perspective at Christmas. We should not be concerned about what we are doing, but what God is doing. And if we are too over stressed/ over scheduled/ over fill-in-the-blank, that is on us-- we need to make better choices-- we know better. Instead of complaining about the world forgetting the Christmas message, I think Christians need to reclaim it for themselves. We're the ones who know the whole story and purpose! But we choose to buy in-- too literally-- to the culture's understanding of Christmas. Don't do it. Remember, Christianity-- and Methodism, for that matter-- began as resistance movements! Resist!

How do you do that? Say "NO!" to some things. You can't say 'no' to everything-- you know your boss looks for you at the office party, but there are some "no's" you can say. I left some activities off of my list above because I can't fit in everything. And I don't want to. But there's more than saying no-- you can also say YES! to God. Commit to regular worship attendance every Sunday in December. Spend more on missions and less on stuff. Your church offers all kinds of Christmas opportunities-- go to experience GOD, not to be busy. Try to find God in everything you do in December.

Remember Mary's words as she thought about the child growing within her (talk about busy-ness!): "My soul magnifies the Lord! My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!" If a pregnant, unwed teenager can have that sort of perspective on her turned-upside-down life, can't we?