As we head into Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, we all know they’ve become crowded with too much activity and commercialized with too much materialism. But I also find that this season has poignant opportunities for spiritual reflection and expression. Over the years, I’ve developed a prayer that has helped me turn my focus from the stress (pressure) of the season to the right stress (emphasis) God intends for this season.

Lord, when I rush and rush this season, remind me that the only time You rushed was to welcome home Your returning prodigal.

When I search and search for just the right gift for that special someone, remind me that I am Your Special someone, and that You gave the Perfect Gift to me.

When I weep at the tenderness of care shown in movies and on television, remind me to express that compassion and generosity in my own life.

When I find myself overwhelmed with so many places to go, remind me that every place needs the light of Your love.

When I feel alone, and everyone else seems to have someone who cares, remind me that someone needs what I can share.

When I suddenly realize that I have forgotten You, remind me that I am always on Your mind.

When I get caught up in the good things of this world, remind me that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

When I gather with family and friends and don’t feel so close, remind me that you gave me these friends and family to love.

When Christmas is over, and I am packing up the ornaments and taking out the tree, remind me of the tree on which You gave Your Life so that my life would never, never end.

Don’t be overcome by the stress of the season. Stress the true meaning of the season instead!

See you in church!

Faithfully yours,

Doug Rumford

Lead Pastor