Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Slow Down for Christmas

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... and the busiest. It seems like we run from one party to another, shopping has to be done, decorating, cooking, cleaning, the list never stops. But it should stop!  How can we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, when there is no peace just a hectic schedule crammed full of must do's and mad dashes from store to store?


Believe it or not one of the best ways to add the peace we all seek, is to add some things to your already busy schedule. I know it sounds crazy. Adding stuff to do at Christmas time makes no sense. But, we need to add times when we can celebrate, remember and reflect on the fact that a baby was born to save the world.

In the logic of the world adding things to do would only stress us out more. But with God's logic remembering Jesus will lift our hearts and draw us closer to Him. At Berean we have three great opportunities to remember Jesus this holiday season.

Celebrate

Meet me at the Manger is a children's play presented by the BASH Kids, Kingdom Kids (Berean Youth) and Servants for Christ. It will truly warm your heart to see children tell the tale of the simple manger that calls us all to God. This performance is a must!

I know if you don't have children or grandchildren you might be tempted to skip the show. Big mistake! Because you are in the family of God you will have a couple dozen "grandkids" to see, all with shining faces, singing their hearts out and bringing a message of hope and joy to all that attend.

There are two performances, Friday December 18th at 6:30 PM and Sunday December 20th, during regular worship at 10:00 AM. Both performances will be at Berean at the corner of 16th Street and Illinois Avenue.

Please plan on attending and invite your whole family and friends. Believe it or not people in our community are waiting for someone to invite them to find God, especially this time of year. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Remember

If remembering Jesus and the significance of his birth is what you need, then doing so on Christmas Eve in the glow of candlelight is a perfect match. It is a simple service with the singing of carols, a time of communion and a message of hope through Jesus.

Every year once the parties are done and the children are a bit groggy, we go to the candlelight service as a final reminder of why we celebrate. If it has been a while since you have been to the candlelight service come see us at 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve. Everyone that attends is glad they did as hearts are warmed in the stillness, hours before Christmas day.

Reflect

Reflection and quiet contemplation is crucial to our faith. We should be still and listen for His voice yet in the busy holiday season with the music blaring, the TV on and constant chatter from those around us, it seems like it is tough to find the time to sit quietly in His presence and hear His voice.

On New Years Eve at Berean we offer the community the opportunity to come into a darkened auditorium, sit for a moment and pray. There is no sermon or music to distract us, just a quiet time before our heavenly Father.  A communion tray is set out for each to partake as they are led and an Elder will be available if you would like someone to pray with or have a special need.

It is a time that we can look back in our hearts at 2015, search ourselves, ask for forgiveness and remember the positive spiritual moments of the past year. We can also look forward to 2016 and pray about our world, community and ourselves. This quiet time is a perfect place to go before God.

So there you have three opportunities to make this busy time more about God and His son whose birth we celebrate.  It does sound a bit crazy that adding things to our schedule will help us find peace, but if we shift our thinking to seeking the Prince of Peace we will surely find the peace we are all looking for this holiday season.

From the Elders at Berean Christian Church, have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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