This last week before Christmas: oh the running and the traveling and frenzied pace we all buy into! Many decades ago, when I was a young priest, in addition to doing all the Christmas liturgical “stuff” of preparation and rehearsals, printing and folding, letter writing (they used to do that in ye olden days) and the regular parish life for a church community of over 1500 families, trying to earn God’s favor and appreciation (in the worst of Reformation traditions) I also used to work an all-night retreat for our parish teen club. This fed their need for true sacred Christian spirituality at Christmas time with an “all-nighter” using food, music, food, prayer, food, story-telling / sharing, food, liturgy and food!
All this running amuck – all good works. All things that “had to be done, and if I don’t do it, no one (competent) will!” And then one Christmas I got so sick and run down (nothing was “up” except my temp. that was allegedly at 105), and guess what: nothing I “had to do” got done. And Christmas still came. God was still praised. (Just with me in my room sneezing and coughing and burning up.) And I had to be taught: it is not what we do and for whom. It is always about what God has done for us in Christ. Guess what: This feast and season is always about “Jesus” (a word / name that means “God Saves”) for it is He (not I) who will save God’s people from themselves and their darkness. Don’t have to run amuck! Please.