Summary: Should Christmas bring us anxiety or peace?

Christmas Crisis

Is 40: 1-11

Are you ready for Christmas?

Many people change the saying to, “At Christmas be merry and of good cheer . .

Thank God it comes but once a year.”

Some sing, “Juggle bills, juggle bills, juggle all the way . .

Buy your gifts at Christmas time and pay ‘em off in May.”

Or July, or next November . . . whatever

Instead of merry, most say their lives are hectic

And the church is no exception

Every Sunday special as we prepare for the birth of Christ

When we set extra time aside for any reason, we become stressed out

We must:

Clean house inside and out

Put up decorations inside and out

Gifts, Cookies and breads, shopping….then

Presents to wrap, cards and presents to mail,

Parties to plan and attend

Chatty newsletters to write

We promise, “Not going overboard this year.” But. .

We set ourselves up for frustration

We try to do too much

Write lists, set goals

Stay on schedule

Meet expectation of friends and family

We tend to forget that our friends and family are not like those on TV or magazines

Some of our friends and family are WHACKO

We get mad at them and mad at ourselves

Are we missing something very important to our core being?

Advent, the season before Christmas day, = preparation

We must pause and reflect on for what we prepare

We prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of the Christ

We give thanks for the babe in the manger

We are full of hope and anticipation of the second coming

So, instead of pre-Christmas preparations

Hang a sign on your door, “Martha Stewart does not live here.”

And tell your WHACKO family and friends the preacher told you to

Spend more time to focus on important

spiritual housecleaning,

Renewal, repentance, and drawing near to the heart of God

Instead of giving the best of ourselves to others

Give our best to God

Set aside time every day

Contemplating magnitude of God’s gift

Prepare for Christ’s return by living as if He is walking beside us right now

Seek out those from whom you have been estranged.

Family, neighbors, former friends

Seek forgiveness, no matter who was at fault

“Forgive me”

Spend time with the lonely

Time with the cranky

Model Christ to them

Demonstrate His love

Rather than looking for perfect container or spending hours in lines

Reach out to those who do not expect to be loved

Be gentle and patient with angry customers and clerks

They are probably doing the best they can

And, haven’t heard this sermon

Many times, anger masks loneliness and pain

Do something for those that can do nothing for you

Shovel walks, bake, sit and listen

Take food baskets, ring the doorbell, run and hide

Gift and hide

Just to recap

Focus on what is important

Do some spiritual housecleaning,

spiritual renewal,

repentance and

drawing near to God

Contemplate the magnitude of God’s gift

Walk as if He is walking here and now beside you

Reconcile with the estranged

Ask forgiveness and forgive them

Spend time with lonely...cranky

Model Christ to all you meet

Reach out to those that do not expect to be loved

Be gentle and patient with angry

Do something for those that can do nothing for you

Deliver food baskets

Deliver gift bags

You will...Have the Merriest Christmas ever.

God bless us everyone

Think about it

To read more go to

Rev. O. K. Neal

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