At this time of the year, what is are the questions in my mind? For me, it is hardly, "What am I going to get for Christmas." I've already got plenty and the receiving of gifts, while quite enjoyable, doesn't really occupy much of my thinking.
How about, "What am I going to give?" Now, that's a question more in my mind, but most of that has already been taken care of. Gifts for grandchildren have been purchased and sent off and the adults have chosen to forego gift-giving in exchange for a great meal and less stress.
Another good one is "Who will I get to see this Christmas?" Most of my family is scattered around this world this year, but my church family and special friends are here--and those I will get to see. Much joy there. But this is still not the driving question.
Perhaps closer to my heart is: "Does this world really matter to God?" Even more, "Do I matter to God?" The answer to that question forms the core of the Christmas moment. Here enters the presence of all that is holy and powerful in the form of that which is vulnerable, touchable, yet still worthy of adoration, the Christ Child.
In effect, God says, "Let's talk. Let us enter into conversation together. Come, you who are carrying so much. Come, you who are so busy. Come, you who are so worried. Come, you who have worked yourself into soullessness. Come, find peace and hope. Come, find healing and connection. I have humbled myself, taking on human form so we can talk. Come, all of you. You are welcome in my presence."
So, enter into worship on Christmas Eve. At First United Methodist Church here in Krum, we'll have a very casual Children and Family service at 4:00 p.m. (if you want you children to help act out the story, have them there by 3:40). We'll sing and tell the story and have cookies and punch afterward. Then at 7:00 p.m., we'll engage in more formal worship, share the bread and cup of communion, and remind ourselves that we are the light of the world while we sing "Silent Night" to the gentle glow of candlelight. All other churches in the area will also hold services. Pick one, go, and enter into conversation and hear the answer to the question, "Does this world really matter to God?" See if you hear what I hear!