I have a friend who tells of a time when his three year old daughter hit her limit. Her parents both worked and had very busy schedules. It was three weeks before Christmas, so there was all the additional activities going on at home and at the church. And, to add to all of it, six weeks earlier, her mother had given birth to her new baby brother, so she now had to share the attention of her parents.
One morning she was at Preschool, and all the other children were playing. Without any warning, she just sat down in the middle of the room, put her head in her hands and started crying. Quickly, the teacher came over, tried to calm her down, and asked if there was a problem. For a moment she just kept crying, but she finally lifted her head and said, “There’s just too much going on around our house.”
My hunch is a lot of us can appreciate how my friend’s daughter was feeling. Especially at this time of the year. The Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas seasons are usually so full of plans, parties, presents, plays, dinners and decorations that it’s easy to feel that there is just too much going on. When you add in all the hurts, struggles and challenges we face; and the concerns on the national and global stage, it’s enough to be overwhelmed by it all. So much so, that often behind the smiles and Christmas wishes there is a sense of weariness and concern that keeps us from fully enjoying this time of the year.
And yet, in the middle of it all, stand these words:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6 ESV)
This Sunday, we are beginning a series of sermons under the general theme, “What Child Is This?” Each week, we will focus on a different aspect of what the coming of the Christ child means for our world and for us. We will be looking at such subjects as, “The Hope of the World,” “The Prince of Peace,” “Good News of Great Joy,” and “Emmanuel.” On Christmas Eve, we will be reminded that He is “A Light in the Darkness,” and on the Sunday following Christmas we will be looking at, “The Boy in the Temple.”
I want to invite you to join us each week as together we discover the difference this Child can make in our lives and in our world.