Okay, okay, you’re right for berating me for not blogging more often. My deepest apologies. I hope that the wait has not been too trying for you all. Anyway, I just finished up the semester and it was a killer. One of my classes, Issues in Hermeneutics, was pretty tough. I did not understand 3 of the books we read, but I managed to get 91.4% in the class. Here’s the kicker, 92 is an “A”. Don’t let anyone tell you that Christian professors understand grace. I’m .1% from an “A”. Are you kidding me? But, as my mother taught me, “this too shall pass.”
Anyway, Rochelle, Malia and I are gearing up for a fantastic Christmas. I love Christmas–which is weird because just a few years ago I hated it. I have an old colleague, Rob McRay, to thank for my growing love of Christmas. During this time of year, I always miss Rob. He revealed to me the great spiritual emphasis and meaning that Christmas could have. I loved the way he focused our church’s attention on Christ at Christmas. He always made a big deal about Christmas and I learned that there was a lot for me to gain from Christmas even when what I wanted wasn’t under the tree on Christmas morning. He also introduced me to one of my favorite local preachers, David McKechnie, the now retired pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church here in Houston. Listening to Dave on Christmas Eve has been a highlight of Christmas for my family for several years now. But, Dave won’t be preaching this Saturday night. So, Rochelle and I are headed to here David Peterson at Memorial Drive Presbyterian. I have come to know Dave’s preaching through Men’s Life, a men’s ministry Memorial Drive does at 6:15 am on Tuesday mornings. That gathering, though I never stay for the small groups, has become an important part of my spiritual formation.
I guess the thing I like most about Christmas is that people who are not normally paying attention to Jesus are. Plus, churches put time, money and energy into communicating the gospel in ways that are accessible to people. In a way, the very thing that happened that first Christmas happens every year at Christmas: the gospel comes to the world and people stop–if only for a moment–to pay attention.
And that’s my prayer for all of us, that as we shop and buy and eat and share our lives with friends and family, we remember–if only for a moment–to pay attention.