“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God‚” Luke 2:28

For most of us in the Oregon Ministry Network, December is one of the most exhilarating and opportune months of the year. More people in Oregon will attend church this December than any other month of 2013. Christmas concerts, Christmas plays and Christmas services will draw both the regular attenders and those who only come on special occasions. This is a huge opportunity for our churches and ministries to love on people and share the real meaning of the year.

I applaud everyone who is working extra hard to declare the “reason for the season.” In our post-Christian society, Christmas is one of the few times on the calendar that being politically correct includes going to church and saying “Merry Christmas.” It is a perfect time to focus on why Jesus came in the first place. Christmas is an excellent time to get families to sit together, sing carols, hear the gospel story, pray together and receive communion. It is a sacred time and a celebration time.

Someone has suggested that the wisdom of the world is: “Don’t just stand there, do something!” But the wisdom of Christmas is: “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Stand in quiet stillness and praise God for the gift of Christmas. Stand in wonder and awe of the God who set aside the robes of eternal deity, to put on the swaddling clothes and lie in a feeding trough. Stand there like the shepherds and the star gazers did. Stand there like the old temple priest named Simeon, who in the midst of a busy world, had time to pause and worship, adore and celebrate the Christ Child.

I encourage you to take time to just stand there. Be overcome with the story once again and take time to just worship the Lord.

Joy and I, along with your entire Network Leadership Team, desire God’s richest blessings for you and wish you a joyful Christmas season.