"A Perfect Christmas with Imperfect People"
Pastor Laura Guy
December 19, 2010
Here's an instant replay of what happened in worship:
- We saw Charlie Brown's frustration when his friends and family wouldn't listen to his directions. Studies show that one of the most stressful things about the holidays are dealing with other people, especially family members.
- We realized that we have this image of a perfect family celebration, based on classic movies and Christmas cards that show Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus sharing a quiet evening in the stable. But that first Christmas was anything but serene! Jesus was a real baby who cried. Mary was a real, first-time mother who went through pain and discomfort during childbirth and afterwards. The last thing this family needed was scruffy shepherds intruding on their postpartum evening! But from the very beginning, Christmas has been about interruptions and inconveniences.
- We heard how the Magi also interrupted the new family; how there may have been more than three of them (maybe quite a few more!). We read their story in Matt 2:1-12.
- We thought about how difficult it is to share our homes and our lives with other people - especially imperfect ones. What are we to do when imperfect people threaten to ruin our perfect Christmas? First, we need to recognize that we are imperfect, too. Next, we need to remember that people who are hyper-critical of others act that way because they don't feel good about who they are. We will likely never change their behavior, but we can change the way we respond to them.
- We know that as followers of Jesus, we are called to see others with the eyes of Jesus - eyes that see beneath the bravado to the small, insecure person underneath. When our friends and family begin to push our buttons and get on our last nerve, we need to stop and say a quick prayer, asking God to "give us the eyes of Jesus." Eventually, we will no longer feel stress because their bad behavior will simply give us more opportunities to pray!
- The true perfection of Christmas - Jesus - can never be ruined, even with a houseful of imperfect people.
- We prayed to see others with the eyes of Jesus.
- We heard Bethany Guy share a story about the bracelets made by the children of Haiti. When it was payday, one of the boys received a large sum of money for his bracelets. He responded with great joy, and ran around to the others, celebrating his own fortune and theirs as well. May we all be that excited about the "payday" of Christmas, our great blessing, and share it with others with great enthusiasm!
- We shared communion at Christ's table.