I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE SEASON. Although we can sometimes become overwhelmed with overloaded schedules and very full days, it's still easy to love this blessed season. If I find myself feeling pressure or overcome by the fullness of my schedule I focus on two phrases that you've heard me say many times; "Jesus is the reason for the season" and "Keep the main thing the main thing."
I used to hate decorating the house and all the preparation for what the world calls 'the holiday season'. Then I realized I was cheating myself out of great joy. I had to change my attitude. And now, as I said, I love everything about Christmas! That change of attitude meant less time in stores and more time with traditions.
Cutting down the family Christmas tree remains a highlight for Donna and I even as empty nesters. Attending school Christmas concerts is now something I look forward to. Watching classic Christmas movies is a blast. My sons still want us to wait until we're all together to watch their favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life. We buy a new movie every season. By next year we will add this year’s new release The Star to our collection. Coots’ family traditions help me remember that Jesus is the reason for the season as well as keeping the main thing the main thing.
Christ Community Church traditions do the same thing for me. This past Saturday we had a blast decorating the church. Our halls and the sanctuary were filled with joy and laughter as dozens teamed up to get the job done and then enjoyed lunch together. Our church looks beautiful with all the decorations designed to remind us of why we celebrate. Take a look around this Sunday and take note of all the symbolism. This coming Saturday is the Ladies’ Breakfast & Cookie Exchange at our house. Now an annual event, the Exchange is an opportunity for ladies to relax, refocus and enjoy being together. The men will experience a similar opportunity on Saturday, Dec. 16th, as we gather for breakfast and then pack goodie bags for our kids. The next day is our annual Christmas Caroling ministry. We visit nursing homes and shut-ins. Our goal is to "bless" those we visit however, those who carol are usually the ones who come away blessed.
The tradition of the Advent Candles and worshipping the Lord with carols, special music and more has been going on at CCC since it's birth. The Advent services serve to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. For me it serves as an attitude check just when I need it most. Our worship of the King culminates on Christmas Eve with our traditional Carols & Candlelight service. For me the high point of Christmas is raising our candles high as we sing "Silent Night".
I love everything about Christmas! How about you? Take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy this time of year and be reminded of why and Who we worship. Maybe we each need an attitude check. So "check out" all your church has to offer as we seek to keep the main thing the main thing!