Today is the sixth day of Advent. As we approach Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth, what is your focus? Are you baking and preparing special treats for your family and friends? Maybe you are wrapping gifts, listening to holiday music and drinking hot chocolate? Or perhaps you are just getting started with holiday shopping? Or maybe you don’t do Christmas? 

Whatever you are doing today, I invite you to step out of the chaos of holiday preparation – whether the chaos is in your mind or in your circumstances. Sit for awhile; take a few deep breaths. The urgency of preparation will wait for you. It actually may dissipate as you put it on the back burner for a bit. 

One outstanding characteristic of Jesus’ life, to me, is that he always had time. The blind man calling to him from the side of the road brought rebukes from the crowd to be quiet, but Jesus had time to stop and heal him (Mark 10:46-50).

When the woman who had the issue of blood touched his garments, Jesus knew he had been touched. When he stopped and asked who touched him, the disciples thought he was crazy. So many people crowding around and he wanted to know who touched him? But he stopped, because he had time (Luke 8:42-48). 

When parents brought children to Jesus, the disciples scolded them for bothering Jesus. But Jesus had time; he took the children in his arms and blessed them (Matthew 19:13-15).

I am challenged by Jesus. Many times I do not feel I have time to stop and chat. My granddaughter loves to “go downstairs” and “have tea party.” Do I have time or do I need to get those cookies made? Or do I need to check Facebook, Instagram or my blog statistics. To substitute for taking time, I give her a new toy or book or stuffed toy. A what to suffice when a who is what she needs. 

My question for me and for you today is this – do your people need presents or do they need presence? There is nothing that will ever take your place in the lives of your people. So, stop what you are doing. In the midst of getting your presents bought, wrapped and given, ask yourself: “Where can I be present this season?” Your presence is far more valuable than anything you can buy!

Until next time…

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26

 

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