For many, the last few days before Christmas are rarely peaceful. This is especially true for parents and pastors. These days are packed with final (and often pressured) preparations of presents and programs and celebrations and sermons. “All is calm” is not our experience. This can leave us wondering if we are nothing more than Christmas “Martha’s,” “distracted with much serving . . . anxious and troubled about many things” and missing the “Mary” moment in all the merry (Luke 10:40–42).
While such distractions are, of course, a year-round ever-present danger, let me encourage you with some brief Christmas perspective on busy-ness.
Remember Joseph and Mary
First, we must keep in mind that the original Christmas was not peaceful, not for Joseph and Mary. They were the first parents who had to prepare for Christmas and the pressure they felt dwarfs what most of us are experiencing right now. Bethlehem was overcrowded with census registrants. Things did not go as they likely envisioned. Joseph was desperately searching for lodging for his wife who was in labor. All he could secure was a stable.
If an unforeseen crisis emerges in the midst of your already challenging Christmas labors, remember Joseph and Mary. That place of desperation is often where the grace of God breaks in with the greatest power.