Over the past few months, I have told friends again and again that I need a reset. The past three years have been exhausting in every way imaginable. First, we had COVID and no one knew what in the world to do. Then, as we emerged from the pandemic, we had to face the decision of disaffiliation from our denomination, and while I am convinced that God’s direction for both Creekside and me was to part ways from the UMC, I have been surprised at the grief that I have experienced in this process. When you add to these two challenges, the sadness that we have experienced as a family of faith in the passing of several of our loved ones over the past few months, it is easy to see why so many of us are ready to put this season behind us.
I must admit that as Christmas decorations began to go up over the past week or so (at home and at Creekside), I have thought to myself, “I don’t have the energy for this right now!” For all of the joy and celebration, Christmas has a way of being exhausting too! But it occurs to me that it doesn’t have to be. Maybe instead of needing to muster a renewed energy for the Advent/Christmas season, it can give me/us a renewed energy and focus. After all, at its heart, Christmas is a celebration of Jesus—the One who tells us to come to him when we’re burdened or exhausted in order to receive rest (Mt. 11:28). Now that’s what I want for Christmas—rest, renewal, and ultimately, a reset for me and my beloved church!
During the Advent season, as we spend the next month or so preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ coming into our world and into our lives, we’ll look to the words that the prophet Isaiah wrote about him hundreds of years before his birth. And we’ll be invited to rest and reset in his hope, peace, joy, and love. May it be so for each of us and for all of us!