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FROM THE PULPIT: Jesus's birth brought hope, love, joy and peace

It has begun, hasn’t it? The rush and crush of getting ready for Christmas.

As a child, this was a magical time of year. Seeing decorations go up. Watching snow come down. Hearing music swirl through the air.

The stores were delightful to visit. The shelves were full of colorful ideas of what to ask Santa to bring on Christmas Eve.

Singing in the children’s choir at church was thrilling – preparing special music to sing on Christmas Eve. Helping make scenery for the Christmas pageant was fun.

Ah, such wonderful memories! As the familiar song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

That’s how I remember it. As a child.

However, as an adult, this season of preparation can feel a bit frenzied and chaotic. As adults, we are the ones helping make wonderful memories for our children and grandchildren.

And a lot goes into it. Transporting children from one place to another. Dealing with crowded stores as lines grow longer at the checkout. Harnessing over-exuberant children while selecting items for the grocery cart. Getting children to rehearsals, practices. Arranging for gatherings.

Whew! A lot goes into making wonderful memories.

God put a lot of work into making wonderful memories, too, when he came to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the centuries, the people wanted Godly leaders. God provided. When that wasn’t good enough, they demanded to have a king like other nations. God didn’t like that idea, but he gave the people what they asked.

Nothing seemed good enough for long. So, when God’s people turned their back on him, he had his prophets speak to the people in an attempt to set things right.

Unfortunately, the people refused to listen to the prophets as well.

What was God to do? He decided he needed to come to earth himself to set things right. I don’t know what it took for God to be able to do that, but in human terms it couldn’t have been easy.

How to arrive on earth so the people wouldn’t be afraid of him or listen to what he had to say? Arrive as a baby. There is nothing threatening about a baby.

It is that baby, the Christ-child, that has helped make so many memories for people throughout the generations. We tend to focus on that baby once a year, and with that focus, remember why it was he came – to bring hope, love, joy, and peace.

Wouldn’t it be a great memory if we had that mindset all year-round?

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: Jesus's birth brought hope, love, joy and peace