This week, I made a decision that will impact several people.
I decided that the tall children’s Christmas tree will no longer reside on bare tile in the alcove of our gymnasium, but that I would move it to one of the classrooms–the one with the purple walls, because Advent. Doing this meant that I had to move a table and some other small furniture and items. It means that the elementary class that meets in that room will have a little less floor space. It means that the candy canes and ornaments will distract from any lessons to be done in that room–whether at after school club, in Sunday School, or during Children’s Church.
It also means that I can put the church’s expansive collection of children’s Christmas books under the tree for kids to read. I had the idea for that the other day and yesterday afternoon I was surprised and thrilled when I walked into the room to find three of our after school ministry kids gathered near the tree and quietly reading “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Night Before Christmas.”
I think over all, we are all going to be glad we made room for the tall tree in the children’s classroom.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. John 1:10-18
Advent invites us to make room. Traditions and trappings of the season demand our attention. Retail and decorations, baking and parties seek our time. We are easily distracted, easily swept up into the commercial reasons for the season, and we easily forget to make room and wait for the one whose birth started all of this.
The Word becomes flesh and dwells among us. He takes up space, he disrupts our plans, he causes us to rearrange the furniture. But if we are willing to make the room, we’ll be surprised and thrilled by the goodness he brings.
And, hey, if you happen to be in or around the Presbyterian Church in downtown Henderson, feel free to drop in and read a book by the children’s tree. It’s a good way to stop and make some room in your busy Advent schedule for rest and reflection.