Let me start by saying Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!
What a wonderful time of the year! Right? Parties, gathering with friends, getting and giving gifts, singing the old Christmas songs, watching pageants performed at churches…..fun, fun, fun!
I have to be honest, for many this wonderful season is also a very stress filled season. For me it is. But it’s a good kind of stress (if that even exists) for me because I love being with people. I love planning services in which we gather to worship and praise God. I love the traditions of the season.
But as many pastors do, I’m always thinking of ways I can make the Advent and Christmas stories new and exciting. I begin to wonder if people are just tired of church because they’ve all heard the story before. And so I begin to believe that I need to step up my game.
(Tell me you other pastors out there feel the same way from time to time?)
But this morning as I was meditating over scripture, God said to me, “The story is enough.”
The story is enough. Really? But….they’ve heard it over and over again. If I don’t do something new and exciting it may not impact their lives in such a way that will bring true transformation and change. If I don’t offer new and exciting, they may not give generously. If I don’t offer new and exciting I may hear from my SPRC. If I don’t…….THE STORY IS ENOUGH!
I tried to make excuses but those words just stuck in my brain. And as I settled in, and continued to meditate on the scriptures before me, I realized that the story is indeed enough.
God sent the Son to earth, to become human – one of us, in all of our turmoil and messiness. Jesus’ birth story is in the midst of turmoil and messiness! What good news that is for humanity – that God would choose to enter the human race right where we were….in spite of our messiness and turmoil; in spite of our brokenness; even because of it.
Who needs new and exciting? The story is ever new and exciting as we tell it over and over again; as its retelling permeates our very beings and God’s Spirit works through the story to transform our lives.
I pray that this season, you’ll hear the old, old story again. The story that is worth sharing over and over. The story that is full of good news and love and grace. The story that is always new and exciting. The story of Jesus – because it is certainly enough.