Well, I can honestly say that this is the first Christmas Season I’ve ever spent thinking more about the coming of Jesus than the coming of presents and all the other trappings of our cultural celebrations. I suppose it has something to do with preaching my way through the story for five weeks. We’ve talked about the vision of the Magi, the trust of the Virgin, the song of the Angels, the awe of the Shepherds, and the hope the Christ-child brings, and through it all, we’ve been searching for our place in the story. As it turns out, we’ve taken turns being the Magi, Mary, the Angels, and the Shepherds, and our default position has been that the story is about the birthing of the Christ into our own lives all over again. There’s hope in that kind of thinking, and it’s been good.
So why do I have all this new anxiety wanting to crowd into my hours? I’m busier than I’ve been in years. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind work, but there’s something about the frantic pace of trying to keep up that doesn’t feel right. Jesus never seemed hurried about things. He worked long days with people, and was no doubt exhausted, but he never seemed to stress in the way that we Americans do with all our running around, buying and selling, going as hard as we can go so that all the things on our lists get done. Slowing down isn’t exactly the antidote, thought that’s part of it. It has more to do with a way of thinking. I keep saying to myself that the success of everything I’m doing doesn’t depend on me, but on God. I control nothing but my own thought and action, and even that is suspect half the time.
So today, full day that it is, will find me breathing more deeply, working hard to prepare the ground for whatever is going to grow, but I will not go anxiously. “Fear not. Be anxious in nothing.”
Okay. Taking it at face value…