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Don’t panic, it’s Christmas!

Author: John McKenna

Don’t panic, it’s Christmas!

The last thing we should be getting stressed about is making Christmas day “perfect”, says John McKenna.

We’re now into those manic final few hours before the big day. I was at a brewery at 8am to pick up some Christmas beer, followed by a quick dash around the supermarket and then home to wrap presents.

Even if you aren’t hosting Christmas, the pressure to make sure that everything that needs to be done is done on Christmas Eve can be enormous.

And if you’re cooking the turkey on Christmas Day, well…stress levels can go through the roof.

It’s difficult not to get caught up in the occasion and want to make it a perfect day for everyone.

This, of course, is impossible…and setting such impossible targets can, for some, turn festive cheer into utter misery.

But Christmas Day was never meant to be like this.

A "perfect" Christmas

I’m sure as a young girl Mary had thought about where and when she would like her first child to be born…and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in a stable a long way from her home and family.

But this is what God does – he comes and meets us in our mess, in our imperfections.

Just as we try to make Christmas Day perfect, we can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking God only loves “perfect” people – those whose lives seem to be all together, who go to church regularly, who are “respectable”.

But nobody has their life “all together”. Nobody is perfect.

Jesus was born in a borrowed stable among the animals and filth to show that God will always meet us where we are  - all we have to do is turn to him.

I think it is best summed up by this verse from O Little Town of Bethlehem:

 

No ear may hear His coming,


But in this world of sin,


Where meek souls will receive him still,


The dear Christ enters in.

 

Don’t get stressed about making this Christmas perfect – that’s as far away from the meaning of the day as you can get.

Instead, just give thanks that today shows how God loves us just as we are, with all our imperfections.

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem


Descend to us, we pray


Cast out our sin and enter in


Be born to us today


We hear the Christmas angels


The great glad tidings tell


O come to us, abide with us


Our Lord Emmanuel.

 

Happy Christmas!

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