Approaching Christmas… Why We Should Laugh, Rest and Slow Down
Who else is counting down the days before Christmas?! It’s definitely that time of the year when all we want is finally to reach Christmas, with all the shopping, food preparation and parties behind us… and simply to celebrate the feast. Relaxing with family, away from work, time to rejuvenate… Warmth and joy in the midst of the cold, dark days of winter.
I love these words from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe:
“I’ve come at last,” said [Father Christmas]. “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The witch’s magic is weakening.”
And Lucy felt that deep shiver of gladness that you only get if you are being solemn and still.
Yes, the days of midwinter are short and sometimes bleak, but Jesus is alive, and one day he is coming again.
In the last couple of weeks, is your to-do list cripplingly long? Are the pressures of Christmas too overwhelming? I read this today and loved it: “Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all. Laugh, rest, slow down.”
YES, friends! Let’s be subversive in the face of Christmas pressures which, frankly, do not come from Jesus. My best moments over the last week were nothing to do with Christmas prep… One was laughing till we were crying over dinner with friends. The other was rolling around on the floor with my 3-year-old nephew pretending to be a lion fighting with his dragon. Which lines in our Christmas to-do list can simply be scrapped? After all, Jesus’ coming was not in the midst of exquisite Christmas decorations and perfectly placed evergreen… He was born in a mess, but surrounded by people who were there because they loved him.
And finally, forget that complicated chestnut stuffing you were planning to make from scratch. Use the time instead to invite a friend to something at your church this Christmas. This Sunday, we are holding a Christmas carol service in the evening. Everyone has been told that the price of this carol service is very high — they have to bring at least one friend with them. We have heard of people inviting colleagues and family members who have never been to church, and the service is designed especially with the non-believer in mind. We are getting excited and preparing for a packed out church. Watch the teaser for the carol service above.