“Rejoice! Lift the song! Rejoice! God has come! Rejoice! Oh, what love! Rejoice! God with us!”

That is the opening line to our christmas program “The King is Here”

Rejoice… God with us…

As I’m sitting here in the middle of preparation for the Christmas program, I’m trying to force myself to think of that one, single word that starts the concert. Rejoice! What does it really mean? To give joy to… to feel joy or great delight… To welcome, to enjoy, to be glad.

Do those words describe most people’s Advent season?
Do those words describe my Advent season?!?

I was asked yesterday during lunch prior to our choirs rehearsal - “How is your Christmas going?” A simple enough question…

I’m guessing many would answer ‘Good’ or ‘Great’... maybe ‘Busy’. Others would answer that simple question with a simple, “easy” answer - but inwardly would be thinking ‘Difficult’, ‘Lonely’, ‘Painful’...

I’ll be real and honest here - at times I have mixed feelings about it.  
-I think back to my childhood when my Grandpa passed away just before Thanksgiving…
-This was my dad’s busy season with work, I didn’t get to see him much between thanksgiving and Christmas - there were times he wasn’t even able to go to a Christmas eve service.
-Jesus certainly wasn’t born in December
-Things are so commercial
-Aren’t all the decorations taken from Pagan traditions? The christmas tree?
-I’m just so busy! Seriously! Ask any music director - Christmas and Easter.  I remember hearing a worship leaders wife tell her son early in December “we’ll get to see daddy after Christmas!”

But on the other side:

-I’m coming up on 5 years being here at The Chapel
-My first born son came 3 weeks early on December 14th just after I started at the church
-I get to see the delight and joy in my kids eyes as they see lights decorating the neighborhood, and soon our own home
-This may be one of the only two times in a year that many will step foot in a church. What a great chance to share Christ’s Love with them!

So what am I choosing to dwell on? What is going to be my focus during this season? That this is the time of year that we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world to be with us.

To be like us.
To have a personal RELATIONSHIP with US!
With ME!
With YOU!

Think about that! What could be more important than the fact that the Creator of the world wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us?

So what was my response to the question “How is your Christmas going?”.
I had answered “My own Christmas doesn’t start until the 10th after the Concerts”...

But I want to change that. I want “To give joy to… to feel joy or great delight… To welcome, to enjoy, to be glad.”

In this season that has sooo many distractions, that may be busy, painful, lonely - I want to Rejoice in Christ’s coming.

Rejoice! Lift the song! Rejoice! God has come!
Rejoice! Oh, what love! Rejoice! God with us!

I hope you will join me in prayer for those who need to hear that message. Pray for the choir’s health. Pray that those who need to come to the concert will. Pray that you, and I, will be able to share the true ‘reason for the season’. And lastly, I ask that you pray that many will accept Jesus and start a personal relationship with him!

-Pastor Matt