On this second Sunday of Advent, He stands up front in the sanctuary of a church that opened it’s doors over 100 years ago. He reminds those of us sitting there in the sanctuary of what Christmas is all about and at the same time reminds us of what it is not. The United States will spend billions this year, literally hundreds of billions of dollars this holiday season to celebrate. At approximately 11:30 a.m. on December 7th, 2014, Pastor Spachman asks the congregation this question, “Does it surprise you that I haven’t yet talked about Christ in my discussion of Christmas?” I’ll be honest, it hadn’t. That was his point too. Meaning, there is an immense amount of marketing this time of year to convince us to not only buy, but buy a lot. Amid all the hustle, the toy buying, the commercials, the baking and decorating, the program attending, and the gift wrapping, is Christ still able to be found in Christmas?
In these sometimes crazy, harried, and cold moments of December, can you find Him? The One who came in tiny, bundled up as a newborn. Helpless at first, but then later able to help all those who felt the same way. Unable to speak, but later speaking up for those needing justice. Speaking out against what was wrong and offering the freedom that flies in when Truth is spoken. Held lovingly by his Mama and carried as a tiny one, to someday grow up carrying the burdens of others, who had laid them in His arms, on His back, and atop of His shoulders. A weight that He asked for because He cared so incredibly much for all of us. Initially, hardly moving at all, but soon walking hundreds of miles to reach out to as many men, women, and children as possible. Moving with purpose and a mission to tell mankind why He came and Who sent Him. Changing lives. Shaking up the status quo with His love and honesty.
Do you see Him now? Strong. Capable. Able. Loving. Peaceful. Just. Kind. Caring. Forgiving. A rock. A refuge. Holy. Emmanuel. Jesus. There He is. A Perfect gift freely given. No need for a box, wrapping paper, or a bow. No batteries required. No hundred miles an hour, frantic, manic, budget breaking, debt filled, horrible traffic, mobs of people, kind of experience. No need to spend hundreds, or thousands, or even billions of dollars to find or maybe even discover again the Perfect Gift of Christmas.
Spend less. A powerful admonition from an obedient messenger on a beautiful Sunday morning. Just what was needed to be heard and felt, while quietly sitting on a long sanctuary pew, in a church that has opened it’s doors for over one hundred years. God’s truth sinking in gently and persistently reminding, to once again, or maybe for the first time freely experience His peace this Holiday Season.