Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Mangering My Christmas"

Today's message at Hope Church was meant for me. I have found myself devoid of Christmas spirit this year, and to be truthful, the past few years have equally found me deficient. I'm not quite sure where this comes from. It could be that for the past four years, I've found myself single at this time of year and without someone to share the holidays with...

But that's not the reason behind this post. There was a drama segment at church that put things in perspective for me. I'll attempt to describe the simple skit.

There was an exhausted couple, laden with shopping bags, who happened upon a park bench and sat down to rest. They talked about how busy they were and how they were dreading the coming visit from in-laws and were looking forward to the day after Christmas when it was all going to be over. Out of nowhere, a homeless woman pushing a shopping cart stops by the bench they are sitting on. She is excited about having 'guests' over, and tells them that this park bench is where she sleeps and as they are awkwardly trying to get up and let her have it, she insists they stay a while.

The woman's name is Irene, and after talking to the couple a few minutes, she picks up on the fact that they are lacking in the Christmas spirit and she proceeds to tell them exactly what their problem is. She told them that they weren't doing a good job 'mangering' their Christmas. The gentleman says, "I think you mean managing" but Irene corrects him, "No, I meant 'mangering.' " Curious to know, the couple asks Irene what exactly it is that's wrong with them. Irene tells them: "You're Innkeepers." Seeing their puzzled expressions, Irene explains to them that while they're so busy wrapped up in the other trappings of Christmas: shopping, office parties, entertaining friends and relatives, they are keeping the baby in the manger out back. By doing so, they're missing the whole point of Christmas.

Irene then invites them to kneel on the ground and peer into an imaginary manger. She tells them to imagine seeing the baby Jesus lying there in his swaddling clothes. Only then, will one be able to put Christmas in the proper perspective. The couple does so, and after this brief encounter, leave the park with a renewed outlook on the Christmas season. By physically laying their packages down, and focusing on Christ, they've re-centered their minds on just what is important.

Perhaps someone reading this might find themself burdened with all the trappings of Christmas and the secular grip of the holiday season has them in a firm hold. Lay all those packages down and take a moment to really ask yourself: "What is Christmas all about, anyhow?" The answer is really quite simple.


tragedienne said...

I believe that God can use even the commercial hype of Christmas to make himself real to people. The commercial hype, the festivities, the great expectations of love and being loved (in a very humanistic perspective) only serves to amplify the void in people. The void would then lead to a search for Christmas.

...a broken spirit & a contrite heart...
Psalm 51:17

I would like to link to this post to my other blog ( if you don't mind.

(mushroom pasta)

bigshoulders said...

i agree with your assessment. God can use anything to further His kingdom... and often it's when folks have tried everything to fill that void, that they're able to find Him.

by all means, you are free to link to my post. thanks for stopping by!