Joy to the Whirled

“Be Still and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10
With Black Thursday right around the corner, it is about to begin. Has anybody noticed that teenagers are not the only ones who act like teenagers? Cara and I have been out shopping multiple times in these early, pre-Christmas seasons. Like many people, we are trying to find just the right gifts for family members on our list. It becomes painfully apparent, as we stroll up and down the aisles, that we landed in a “consumer war zone;” a super mart version of a teenager’s bedroom. The shelves were in chaotic disarray, as though a windstorm of many hands had scrambled, rearranged, knocked down and pushed aside un-chosen items.

Welcome to the consumer version of the island of misfit toys. We have even come across a package of meat conveniently placed on the Lego shelf for “courteous in-store re-shelving.” But really, who can blame these busy shoppers. After all, time is of the essence and lines are building up front. Stopping to do the right thing could cost you extra time, energy, and critical momentum. Our lists are long, and our nights are short. The mad dash is underway. Someone else will take care of these things, just grab, and go! Instead of singing “Joy to the WORLD,” maybe we should be singing “Joy to the WHIRLED!”

Christmas is supposed to be about PEACE, but our Advent experience is often dominated by PACE. Why is it the one time of year we should all slow down and be still, the engines of appointments, commitments, parties, and shopping picks up dramatically? Is there a message for us in the not-so-subtle title of our culture’s first official day in the Christmas season, the infamous “Black Friday?” Cha-ching, cha-ching! The prophet Isaiah questions this apparent madness saying, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2 ESV). Could it be that Christmas doesn’t pass through a register’s till? And why are deadlines in December referred to as the “Christmas rush?” Advertisers tell us, “you can still beat the Christmas rush.” All of this begs the question: Just what race are we running in a rushed fashion and why are we speeding so rapidly toward December 25th?

Everyone wants to be “on time” with presents, parties, and commitments. But at what cost? Maybe we have bought into the misperception and illusion that we have to be the producers of a “Christmas experience” complete with lights, fudge, eggnog and presents. The truth is, we are the intended receptors of Christmas blessings. We don’t have to rush to meet a God who always shows up right on time in just the right way. “Our Master, Jesus Christ, is on his way. He'll show up right on time, his arrival guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God” (1 Timothy 6:13b The Message).

Maybe this Christmas, we should pause, stop and stay long enough to get back in touch with one of God’s most important commands to His people; “Be still” (Psalm 46:10). At the end of the day, and at the end of yet another Christmas season, this is the only posture of true celebration that will carry us beyond wrapping and carols to convey hope and purpose in our lives. O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Happy Adventing!

Pastor David

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