10 The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem,[a] for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I
will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the Lord’s special possession in the holy land, and he will once again
choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy
dwelling.” Zechariah 2:10-13
became an adult, the holidays took on an immense amount of pressure to perform.
I wanted to make sure our house was picture-perfect, the presents were wrapped
in a photogenic fashion, and each and every present would meet the exclamations
that it was perfect.
It was only until recently that I discovered the desire for
perfection leads to feelings of pressure, which gives way to stress and fear,
which gives way to resentment when others don’t meet our (often unspoken)
Suddenly the holidays, meant to be a joyous and celebratory
time, are full of resentment, stress, and distraction. It’s often not until the
candlelight service on Christmas Eve, once everything is done, the lists are
checked off, and the food is almost prepared, that we even take the time to
quiet ourselves. It’s sad that the whole season, which starts seemingly earlier
and earlier each year, is only met with worshipful rest the night before it all
How fitting, though! How similar is it to the birth of Jesus!
Imagine the stress of teenage Mary knowing that she’s expecting a child, not
just out of wedlock, but not even from her betrothed. Throw in the stress of
travel to make it in time for the census to be completed, plus absolutely
nowhere to spend the night, plus all the discomforts of pregnancy... And all
the stress, pressure, and distraction comes to a silent point when the
beautiful baby boy is finally born, healthy and holy.
Let’s try, in all the chaos, travel, and turmoil, to remember
and revisit that quiet reflective moment as much as we can this Christmas
season. Before you go into the madness that is the mall (or time with your
family), stay in your car in the quiet and think back to what you feel at that
candlelight service. Make each night throughout the advent be a silent night,
substantiated by the reality of why we really celebrate, knowing that nothing
on earth could ever be as perfect as the real reason for this season.
Written by: Jordan Arias,
Hope Community Dinner Church
We hope that you will
join us every Sunday in December at 10am for our NOEL series and on Christmas
Eve at 5pm!