We are officially only 10 days away from Christmas morning. Feeling the crunch yet? Presents still to buy, decorations still to put up, trees to still decorate, meals to plan, company still coming…the list goes on. All of this can be quite stressful, even cause a wee bit of anxiety. That’s a bit ironic if you think about. Christmas is not supposed to be stressful. It’s not supposed to cause us anxiety.
This is an especially poignant thought as we walk into the third week of Advent together. Traditionally, the third week in Advent represents Joy, the joy that God wishes for us to have, as stated in John 15:11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” What has he told us to make our joy complete? A couple of things really. Before this verse Jesus is talking about remaining in God’s love, a love we get to know more as we learn God’s heart for us, which involves obeying God’s voice and his written Word. After this verse, Jesus talks about taking this love we learn from God and using it toward one another. Loving each other with the same type of love that caused God, holy, majestic, eternal God, to be born in a manger and eventually die on a cross.
Here’s my main thought for this week. After speaking about a type of love that is self-sacrificing, Jesus reminds us that we have been let in on God’s plans. That Jesus loves us enough to let us in on the mystery of Christmas. John 15:14-17 “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
Not only has Jesus let us in on his plans, but he has a part of us to play in those plans. “I chose you and appointed you so that you might GO and bear fruit…”
Part of the mystery of Christmas is that the story of Jesus’ birth, of Jesus’ death and resurrection, has been left with us. To take it and go, to spread it around, to let others in on the mystery.
That’s what our Christmas play “No Doubt” will show us this coming Sunday. Join us. And let’s explore what it looks like when the church leaves the building to share the story of Christmas.