Holiday Time can become a blur of events, and we feel ourselves becoming more exhausted than knowing the peace that Jesus offers. What is that all about? Someone has to buy the gifts and wrap them, plan the menus, invite the people and prepare the food after shopping and finding parking places and trying to stay within a budget and—and—and—

Too Tired For Words

Wow! I got tired just writing that. I’m not a Black Friday shopper, and I don’t shop online very much. I don’t know what its like to be in a store and get elbowed out of the way or have someone push me down in a rush. The lines I stand in during the holidays are enough to let me know a few dollars saving is not worth the stress. I could be totally wrong in this, but that’s my attitude.

I don’t have young children anymore that want specific things their friends have, and my grandchildren haven’t figured materialism out yet. My husband even buys his own gifts and asks me to wrap them up and give them to him. I refused that this year. I plan to force myself to think and listen to him for what could be the perfect gift. It will be like trying to find Waldo, sorting through all his talk to hear the desire for something he doesn’t already have.

Christmas or Stressmas?

The one thing many have at Christmas time is stress and the more “fun” stuff we plan, the more stressful it can become. I know some people thrive on entertaining and parties. I am not one of those. I am introverted, and although I love getting together with family and friends, it can make me nervous to plan it or have to make small talk. So even the simplest plans cause me some stress at this time of year.

The point is we often lose sight of the celebration’s point. It’s all about celebrating God’s love that is so extravagant He was willing to come and live among us in our stressful world. For those who have accepted His gift of Grace and forgiveness, He is with us all the time and chooses still to live among us and have a relationship with us.

Martha was worried about many things in Luke 10 as she hosted Jesus at her home in Bethany. Like us, she was concerned that all her preparations were just right and wondered if she may have forgotten something that would make the meal special. Mary, according to Jesus had chosen the better thing which was sitting and enjoying Him. She listened and learned and strengthened her relationship with Him. (Could that be why she later anointed Him for his burial while his closest disciples never did?)

Jesus Loved Celebration and Relationship

Jesus said He is Life, and He gives us peace. Are we throwing an elbow to those gifts to fill our stressful life with more “stuff” and more activity? “Be still and know that I am God,” God tells us in Psalm 46:10. What does that mean to you? What is God telling us? Is He offering us His peace and we aren’t still enough to hear his offer? Is He asking us to remember who we are in relationship to an Omnipotent God?

Peter tell us in his letter recorded in the Bible to cast our cares upon Jesus because He cares for us. I challenge you this year to remember the reason for the celebration….not with a quip, but with your heart as you feel the stress rising pray—peace, peace, peace. Feel your blood pressure lower and the peace that passes understanding wash over you. Take a deep breath and visualize yourself inhaling His Life-giving Spirit. Then consider what to do next.  Is it essential or can it be cut from your busy schedule?