Christmas in October?

By Sara Currell

For to us a child is born,

   to us a son is given,

   and the government will be on his shoulders.

Isaiah 9:6a

You can see it in the stores this time of year.  Right next to the multiple aisles of Halloween paraphernalia are a couple rows of Christmas merchandise tucked in for good measure. Just in case, you – just – can’t – wait.  And how do you feel about Christmas music?  Some people listen to it all year long and just love it. Some reserve it for after Thanksgiving or when the snow starts to fly.

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At our house Christmas creeps into our lives during the summer. My husband Dan and I direct the Christmas Pageant at Easter Lutheran Church and planning starts early.  We talk about the script, the music and what we want to change for this year. I sometimes struggle to get into the Christmas spirit this early but God carries me along when the meetings start. I can hear the Christmas music in my head.

And he will be called

   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

  Isaiah 9:6b

By the time October rolls around planning, discussion and emails for the Christmas pageant are in full swing. I have about 10 emails in my inbox right now regarding the pageant and the 5th and 6th graders are starting to turn in their sign-up sheets for speaking parts. I can feel the excitement building and I know that rehearsals will start soon.  MaryJoseph1

Dan and I put a lot of time into thinking about how the scenes should look, how certain lines should sound and helping the kids portray the story in meaningful ways.  But it’s not just about the performance. It’s not just about what it looks like to the congregation. It’s about the kids and what they’re learning about the Christmas story for the first time. It’s about what they’re learning about Jesus for the first time. It’s about the new appreciation they have for Him and the plan of salvation God set into motion when Jesus was born on earth and laid in a lowly manger.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

   there will be no end.

Isaiah 9:7a

So, while the process of getting into the Christmas spirit starts for me in the summer and takes awhile for me to warm up to it’s not the process I’m interested in.  This is much like my faith.  I want my faith to go beyond the process – go beyond what I’m doing, when I’m going to church, what my life looks like as a Christian.  I want to go beyond the process of getting the pageant ready and speak to the hearts of the children in the pageant and the congregation that will see it in December.  I don’t want my faith to look like boxes I’m checking off so it looks like I’m getting ready for Jesus. I want both the pageant and my faith life to have heart.  I want to love Jesus and reflect Him to others because of what’s on the inside not what people see on the outside.

He will reign on David’s throne

   and over his kingdom,

    establishing and upholding it

   with justice and righteousness

   from that time on and forever.

Isaiah 9:7b

Come to the Christmas pageant on Sunday, December 13th at Easter by the Lake at 9:30 and 11:00am. See what God can do in the lives of children and their depiction of His Son’s birth. We hope you leave moved, inspired and maybe even learning something new that you didn’t know before.

Cast1 I’m getting used to Christmas in October. It’s an early reminder of what God has done for me and what He continues to do in the lives of others.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

   will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:7c

Lord, be with us and draw close to our hearts.  Let us stop focusing on the when and how of what’s happening; let us just focus on being close to You.   Amen

Sara Currell is a member of Easter Lutheran Church.  She loves teaching kids the Bible, singing and celebrating Christmas all year long.

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