It’s September 30, and my to-do list for the day doesn’t match the early fall weather outside.
- Create Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day web events
- Reach out to M+W about slide backgrounds for Christmas and New Year’s
- Begin scheduling for Christmas Eve shows
And on the list goes.
When people ask me about my job here at BelPres I often say that I live at least a week in the future, but more often it’s at least a month or two in the future. And at no time is this truer than during Advent and Christmas.
To be frank, Christmas is exhausting. I’m sure many of you can relate to this feeling as you go about your shopping, meal prep, and endless gatherings with family and friends. I get exhausted by this as well. But I am also exhausted by just how much worship there is, how many Christmas events there are in December, and the seemingly limitless ways I can give of myself during this season.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Christmas. I love knowing what it means to give and give freely and there’s no doubt that I know this because Christ gave me an example to follow.
I remember the first time I really felt that it was better to give than to receive. I spent the summer collecting sea glass at my grandparents’ house and glued it onto a wooden frame that I filled with a picture of my sister and me for my dad. Best present ever! I was literally itching for him to open it on Christmas morning.
I worked for what seemed like forever on that frame. Just like it seems I work forever (or a few months) on the Christmas graphics, bulletins, Messenger, events, and the BelPres website, all so that people can, fingers crossed, find us and show up at the right place and the right time on Christmas Eve.
Finally, finally, Christmas Eve arrives, and I walk into the church to worship. Now, it’s challenging given that I proof the shows and if I see something wrong it can really ruin my day. But Christmas Eve and Day tend to bring out a more relaxed version of myself (although you may not see it at work–I apologize co-workers, but it usually doesn’t set in until worship begins!) as I experience the peace of God’s promise fulfilled through his Son, Jesus.
Perhaps it’s exhaustion and relief at it being over, but the contentment that flows through my heart and mind signals to me that it is so much more. I am thankful for the stress and overwhelming nature of the season because it allows me to share the love of Christ with my family, my friends, my neighbors, my community, and the world.
I look at the people who have been working at this church for years, even decades, longer than I have, and often wonder where the commitment to this organization and the BelPres mission comes from. And I realize it’s less to do with their incredible, selfless hearts (although that is important) and more to do with their belief in our promise to our congregation: To partner with Jesus to be revived and to revive the Eastside and beyond. They work in the church because they believe in what this organization can accomplish through God. And they love their work and the people we interact with because they know the love of Christ Jesus, our savior.