God rest ye

Maybe I’m the only one, but I doubt it. Show of hands please: anybody else here completely worn out with all the things that are going on, whether related to Christmas or not? I can tell you that the last few days have brought me nearly to the point of exhaustion. Maybe it’s just a problem for those of us (pastors) who are reputed to only work one morning a week, but what with visits to homes and hospitals, calls from people with short-term needs, church members wanting attention from their minister, preparations for special services (the cantata at our church starts in about two hours), oh yes, shopping for the family, writing out cards (got some done this year, hooray) and other normal things like that, I’ve found myself hovering on the edge of exhaustion. So it’s time to receive, as well as give, a little Christmas cheer, and of course there’s plenty of that to go around also. Before many days are over I’ll be off on the first real vacation my beloved and I have taken in about thirty years. I won’t blog much during that time, I think (mid-January) because she just might try to persuade me to leave the laptop home, or at least turned off most of the time. We’ll see.

Anyway, this time of year we expect Christmas miracles, and maybe some will come. Has there ever been a time when the announcement of peace on earth was more needed than now? I know some families that need shalom, not just peace but plenty, the comfort of friends and neighbors, and the security of a space of their own, just now. In this fearful world, we equate peace with security, and security we equate with having more firepower than someone else. But God announces shalom in the presence of a helpless child born to a family temporarily homeless. When such a King begins to reign, will he forget the dispossessed, the traveler, the weary, of the world? I think not. And the good news has been proclaimed: his kingdom has begun. He invites all who labor to come to him for rest.

God rest ye: let nothing dismay you. Now there’s a Christmas message that’s for me.


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