First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua

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December 2013

Shine the Light of Christ at Christmas

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Christian in the hustle and bustle of December! Here are some ideas for not losing our religious faith during this holy and joyous season. Perhaps, if we all practice these reminders, we can show others the meaning of Christmas.

Be an agent of God’s grace—event if the people around you are not. Store employees and restaurant servers are doing their best. During this busy season, almost every shopper thinks he or she is more important than anyone else. Smile at the folks with whom you have business dealings. Say, “Happy Holidays!” You may prefer, “Merry Christmas,” but a more general wish is fine, too. There are quite a few holidays coming up, and we don’t know which ones strangers will be celebrating. They won’t know which ones we celebrate, either.

Be patient—even if no one else is! Sighing and harrumphing won’t make anyone move any faster. Take a devotional book—not just your Smartphone—for your long waits in the check-out lines. You can get The Upper Room at our church for a one-dollar donation. While you wait, count your blessings. Remember, this is the season of peace. Don’t dwell on conflicts; instead, make peace. When many of us are working overtime, it’s important to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. This is a time of spiritual preparation for us all. Take daily time with God. Sabbath time is even more important to our well-being during Advent than at other times of the year.

There is no perfect Christmas. Realizing that wrapping paper and bows will come unwrapped, and that the gravy will boil over, and that some of your gifts may not please, will relieve a huge amount of pressure for you and your family. Even Mary and Joseph had to celebrate Jesus’ birth in a stable! That was surely not the kind of environment they had hoped for. Remind yourself that God is at work in the imperfections of life.

This season is not about our baking or our gift-wrapping or our decorating. It’s about the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. He is the fulfillment of God’s promises, and He is our eternal hope. The holy season is our celebration of Emmanuel, “God With Us.”

May your days of Christmas preparation be filled with the love of Christ and the light of His presence. I wish each of you a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Pastor Joyce

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