Put up the Christmas tree…..check.
Bake cookies and take them to the neighbors….check.
Choose gifts for loved ones….check.
Attend holiday parties….check.
Be present with the preschoolers in your small group….check.
There are so many things demanding our attention during this season. A good portion of them are beautiful, and sacred, and provide us with wonderful memories for years to come. But it’s a little too easy to treat the season as a challenge to be conquered instead of an opportunity to cherish.
Being present with your few is not something you can simply check off a list. It’s an intentional choice to focus on during this busy season.
Our preschoolers know how busy this time of year is, too. They ride in shopping carts through countless stores as their families prepare for the holiday. They get to stay up late some nights, sucking on candy canes and sipping barely-warm hot cocoa with groups of friends or family. They have to put on scratchy clothes and get their pictures taken with a giant man in a bright red outfit. They feel the stress that threatens to consume all of us as we try to determine what makes Christmas Christmas for us.
So when our few walk into their rooms this weekend at our churches, the last thing they need is another busy day. What they really need is YOU.
They don’t need you to be worried about creating a perfect footprint angel craft to send home. Instead, they need you to listen to them tell you about their week.
They don’t need you to focus on doing every single activity in the lesson plan, no matter how rushed they might be. Instead, they need you to focus on reminding them they are loved.
They don’t need you to be preoccupied about your own to-do list and obligations. Instead, they need you to put everything else aside the minute you walk through the door and decide to be present with them.
Your few need YOU for Christmas. Jesus is the greatest gift ever given, and you have the privilege of being a physical representation of Jesus to them. So be present with them – and this Christmas may be the best one they’ve ever had and you’ve ever had.