December 31, 2017
The Second Sunday in Christmas
“What About Today”


I love Christmas, I love the stories, the songs, the movies, the traditions, the food, and singing “Silent Night” at the Christmas Eve Worship service.  Yet I am very aware that for many people this time of year is full of stress, anxiety, and even severe depression.

It seems that for many Christmas has become a production and not a holiday.  We have to produce Christmas Letters that gloriously look back on the past year even if it wasn’t that great, we produce party after party that wears us out, we produce meals that keep us too occupied and make us too full, we produce Rockwell family moments that are often forced and awkward and anything but real, we produce presents that are born out of a Black Friday frenzy and not from the heart, and then we produce the Christmas Eve Service which has become a performance for some and for others a strange ritual which involves dressing up and visiting the local church for only the second time that year.

And in all the frenzy something gets left out, the Christmas Word made flesh, the proclamation and the experience of Emmanuel, God with us.  So it is, in the words of the classic Christmas recording by Elvis, “I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you.”  The Christmas production does not bring us hope, peace, joy and love, it just leaves us empty and feeling all alone.


      1. What About Today


In the beginning
A long time ago
You made the earth and sea
All the things I know
So beautiful
So big and grand
The father almighty’s
Creative hand


Long time ago
So far away
What about today?


I dream of heaven
So far away
Where all the pain is gone
And tears are wiped away
In God’s presence
In God’s hand
Filled with peace and love
In a promised land


Long time ago
So far away
What about today?


In the ordinary
Stuck in time
You live in another world
Once upon a time
A long time ago
So far away
I need something more
To get me through the day


Long time ago
So far away
What about today?


Maybe this year we can find a way to create a little distance between the Christmas production and the Christmas holiday.  And in that space, we can make some room for Emmanuel, God with us.  For God is not that far away but in our midst with hope, peace, joy and love.  May God open up our hearts and minds to the simple things of the holiday, a relaxed meal and some unpressured fellowship, opportunities to give from the heart and receive in humility, some Sabbath time, and maybe a chance for us to provide some kind of shelter for those who have experienced, “no place for them in the inn.”

God is not “a long time ago,” or “so far away;” God is not coming in, with, or through, the great Christmas Production; God is simply in our midst.  Amen

If you like this devotion please share it with others via the Facebook button at the bottom of this page!  This week’s song, albums, and other songs by Greg, are available on Bandcamp!  Get the music free!  Greg’s music is listed for “name your own price.”  Just choose $0, and download the song or album.


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