To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. --Luke 2:11
During Christmastime in 1988, I was living in an apartment in Chicago with three seminary roommates, including one who had arrived from India to begin studies toward his doctorate. I am remembering again this year the stunned reaction he had during his first encounter with the dollar driven spectacle of Christmas in America. He was surprised by how Americans celebrate Christmas.
Christmas in India, I learned, is much simpler. On Christmas Day, the tradition of my roommate’s family was to worship and gather for a family meal, during which each person received one simple gift. As it was described to me in 1988, the highlights of his Christmas in India were worship and family. The outsized materialism of Christmas in America was unknown to my roommate during his childhood. The simple traditions of Christmas in India never left him feeling cheated. There was never any fretting at Christmas about whether everyone would receive what they wanted. Jesus’ birth was enough.
A recent Thanksgiving Bible Study offered in our church was entitled, Jesus is Enough. As Christmas approaches, I encourage everyone to spend time reflecting on these three words, Jesus is Enough. Permit them to inform your shopping, the purchases you will make or not make. More importantly, permit these three words to inform and even change your worship habits.
Advent has begun. Three Christmas Eve liturgies will again be offered at our church. Join us for worship during Advent and on Christmas Eve! All are welcome! This year, I also invite you to make a change in your Christmas worship habits. Consider attending not only during Advent and on Christmas Eve; consider worshipping on Christmas Day too. Consider the customs of Christmastime in India, which are more spiritual than material. Christmas Day worship in America in typically one of the least attended services of the year! Shocking, really, but as understandable as every bad habit people keep.
To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. I look forward to seeing you in church this month…and even on Christmas Day! Jesus is Enough! Share these three words…pass them on!
Merry Christmas to all! Christ the Savior is born!
Pastor Doug Heagy