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Remember Jesus during holiday rushcomment (0)

December 2, 2004

By Betty Baggott

Well, it’s that time of year again and before you know it lights and ornaments will adorn trees and holly will be hung. I don’t know how you feel, but it seems to me that we hardly get through with our Thanksgiving dinner, feasting on the turkey, before we dig out the boxes that contain all the decorations.

Frantically we hurry toward the holiday season by baking, shopping, sending Christmas cards, going to this affair and that. We scurry to buy gifts and try not to forget a single person. Church activities multiply — hurry, hurry, hurry!

In the midst of all the readying ourselves for Christmas let us not forget the birthday we celebrate. It is a celebration of our Lord and Savior.

Let us lift a prayer that we never lose sight of the divine purpose of this great event. The note of Thanksgiving should continue throughout the Christmas season as we thank God for the greatest gift the world has ever known. Will you stop to thank God for all He has done in your life and for what He can do?

Also during this time of year, we can put our love into action as we remember all those around us who have a special place in our hearts.

For those of you in ministry the season can be such a rush that the true meaning gets lost in the midst of Sunday School parties, fellowship groups and just trying to survive as the calendar becomes more crowded each day.

I can remember one Christmas when our children were small we sat down and decided just how much “going” we could do. For those in ministry your family can suffer at Christmastime if you are not careful.

The congregation understands and will think a whole lot more of you if you put your family as the first priority. There is no way you can attend everything that goes on at the Christmas season.

Planning ahead helps

After the Christmas of being very selective about our time, we looked forward to the season a whole lot more. Our hearts did not pound as fast when we saw the church schedule for the month of December.

You have to start now to plan, and many of you already have. A wonderful gift your church members can give to your staff is to say, “We are having a Sunday School party on Thursday night. If you can come we would love to have you. But if you cannot we will understand.”

How I cherished people like this over the years and their numbers were many.

I continue to love everything about Christmas and especially trying to minister to someone who does not have family in town. A recent note reminded me of how much I can fall short of this if I am not careful.

The note said, “Betty, I am in my 80s, live alone and miss so much my children who live out of town. I will not give my name, but I just had to talk to someone. Soon, up and down the street houses will reflect the touch of Christmas.

“I wonder if these families know that in the midst of all this joy there is one who sits here so lonely. I just pray for a knock at the door or perhaps a phone call, but I know this is selfish. All these people have so much to do.”

Thank God there are many churches that will reach out to the elderly, the poor, the lonely and see that this season can be one of the happiest they have ever had.

I wish this dear lady had signed her name and given me her address, but I feel that she will read this and my prayer is that God will lead people to minister to her this Christmas season. She has ministered to others by sharing her thoughts. She went on to say that her family would come on Christmas Eve, but that there were a lot of lonely days between now and the 24th.

In closing let me wish for each of you a very joyful Christmas season. How I wish I could answer all the notes I received from the article on grief. Please know I am praying for you.

Let me leave with you a poem taken from Psalm 23 — “Psalm for a Woman at Christmas.” For the poem’s full text, visit www.thealabamabaptist.org. It is good for every day and not just for women. I do not know the author.

The poem reminds us not to hurry and rush around. Let us all remember Jesus was never in a hurry.

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