There’s nothing quite like living in the glow of the gift of the Christ child one minute and then getting a letter reminding me I need to fill out my ELCA annual report the next. How quickly the atmosphere in my world changes from one of all-out Christmas celebration to all-out number crunching and ministry evaluations. But every year, that’s what happens. And I admit, in years past I’ve gotten pretty frustrated when that letter arrives. Can’t I just have a couple of weeks to live above the routine of reports and evaluations to soak up the joy of Christmas?
But this year it dawned on me, isn’t that the deal with this whole discipleship thing? It’s never one or the other, never just joy or just monotony. Because what it means now that Christ has come is that everything, absolutely everything, is infused with the gift of Emmanuel, God with us. Every glorious worship and every mind-numbing task are experienced in the presence of Christ’s never-failing love.
So this year I’m trying something new. When I sit down to face my annual report I won’t do it with clenched teeth, muttering my irritation under my breath. I will pray that God would remind me that even in that moment God is with me. Even when I’m doing a task I loathe, Christmas reveals I’m doing it in the light of Christ.
I can guarantee that I won’t ever love filling out reports. But if I can remember Christ’s presence there, where else will his love come to mind? In the middle of an argument? Waiting for a loved one’s diagnosis? When I feel like I don’t measure up? Where else might God’s love get me through? Where might God’s love get you through?
See you Sunday…