Don’t get trapped in the Christmas rush

Published 3:56 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

By John Warren


Life can change so quickly, can’t it?

One moment you are standing on the ladder, the next you are laying in the floor.

You hear yourself say, “Well if I were to get married I would want it to be with you” and the next you are making out a guest list and the date is set!

One minute you are passing out candy to children at the door and the next you are putting up the Christmas tree.

I heard someone complaining about the people who decorate for Christmas early and they said, “It is too early Mary hasn’t even told Joseph that she is pregnant yet!”

From the time I was a boy, I had the Christmas decoration bug.  I don’t know what it was that got it started the family piling in the car and driving all over town looking at lights or the fact that I just wanted to make a display better than our next door neighbor.

Now you can watch people with very elaborate light shows compete.  Who of you have stood in line on Black Friday and rushed through the crowd to nab that 65” TV for $200?  Or you struggle to get to the latest fad toy on the shelf?

The story of Christmas comes out of a real-life struggle, a frightened couple forced from their home to go and pay taxes.  A young man and girl pregnant with her first child.

Can you even begin to imagine the things going through Mary’s mind?

“Why me?”

“Yes Lord I said, yes, but I didn’t know it would be this hard?”

“Yes, Lord but I am scared what if I have this baby on the road?  Where will we go?”

“I wish my mother were here!”

“Joseph you need to find somewhere quick!”

I can imagine that they were both frazzled and a lot worried.  We have told the story so many times that sometimes the emotion of the moment is diluted with the passing of time and the passing of the threat, real life in real time moment by moment experience.

I can imagine that Bethlehem was crazy with travelers and it was like trying to find a room on Super Bowl weekend.

And my favorite carol, Silent Night tells a different story than the realities of that night.  It was anything but silent.  Make it part of your Christmas to slow down and hear the story.


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.