Pause

Ever wondered what it means to keep Christ in Christmas? Well, you’re doing it right now!

You’re taking a break from shopping or Christmas goodies or a gift exchange because a nudge from the Spirit invited you to pause.

You are taking specific steps to live out your belief that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Listen

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with her husband for seven years. She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer night and day. She approached at that very moment and began to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:36-38

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Think

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the curiosity that builds as each package is placed under the tree. I shake it, smell it, pester my parents for clues. The wait is awful, even as it brims with anticipation. I count down the days until it’s finally Christmas, and I wake at 5 a.m. eager to open gifts.

My patience quotient is on the opposite pole from the woman we meet in Luke 2. Anna was married only 7 years when her husband died and left her a widow. From that time on she never left the temple but worshipped night and day until she was 84, fasting and praying for the needs of the world. That’s a lot of years! There was no countdown, no assigned date, no clues about when, where, or how her prayers would be answered. She kept showing up. Waiting.

Finally, it happened. The most incredible day of her life. She saw in Jesus God’s promise of salvation for the whole world. I want to see in Jesus what Anna saw in Jesus.

Tammy Wiens

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Pray

Lord Jesus, I want to meet you with as much joy as Anna had in meeting you. Help me to be patient as I wait to see signs of your presence in me and around me. Strengthen me to help others look patiently for you as well. Amen.

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Go

May your heart be full of gladness
And the peace that covers sadness
May your joy be overflowing
And your many blessings growing
May you have the time you've longed for
With the people that you love
May you have yourself a merry Christmas now.

Sara Groves, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” 2008

Tammy Wiens

Tammy Wiens is the Associate for Christian Formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Among many and varied tasks, she serves as Mission Coordinator for UKirk college ministries. She also works alongside Christian educators from many different denominations to figure out together what it means to teach and grow in faith. When not at work, Tammy loves to ride her bike, walk a golf course and hit a few balls, and make music with her husband, Sheldon.

Unto Us: Silent Night

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