Pastor Steve Lindeman
Cedar Springs United Methodist Church
140 S. Main St.
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
I am currently reading the personal memoir of Thomas Oden, who is one of the leading Methodist theologians of our time. In the book, he makes a statement that can be helpful for us during this Christmas season.
“… Christian freedom centers on being freed from anxiety about the future through the act of trusting in God who transcends our gods.”
As we enter into this season of Advent, and as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, this is something that we would all do well to remember. We may feel weighed down by the worries of this world but we need to remember that we are freed from the power of worry and doubt and anxiety when we trust in God.
Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:25-34 that we are not to worry about the things of this earth because we are called to “… strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This puts Christmas into a different perspective, doesn’t it?
I could make a long list of all of the stressors that pile up on me during this joyful season. All of our lists might include such things as not having enough time to attend the church Christmas program, not having enough money to buy the toy that your child has asked for, spending the holidays with family members who are ill, or folks that you may not get along with … and the list goes on.
Instead of worrying about these things—the same things that are listed in the 6th Chapter of Matthew—focus on the manger instead, and what this infant means. As you work your way through this season of Advent, prepare your heart to make room for him. Focus on the things that are important as taught by Christ. If you need a daily reminder, and most of us do, read the 6th Chapter of Matthew every day as we approach December 25. It only takes a few minutes, and it will help keep things in perspective.
Be reminded, today, that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives and Lord of the world. As our lives seem to spin out of control, remember that he holds our future in his hands, and that we don’t have anything to worry about. The power of God is greater than any other god that this world has to offer.
I wish you well and I wish you a season of peace.