Anyone read “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”? Remember the mayhem of the Christmas pageant? That’s the Malizzos when it comes to traditions. Really. Some of the “traditions” I’ve come up with are fun: stockings, cookie exchanges, making ornaments (what was I thinking? Glitter….enough said), decorating, and Christmas cards. I’m a little tired just thinking about it.
What do my kids remember? Likely they will just remember stocking paraphernalia, cookie icing, glitter, and the cool lighty-up mini Christmas tree that they fought over. Not too bad. Fun memories certainly. We celebrate Christmas with all of our fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that but what about Christ?
Are these “traditions” just giving a nod to a baby in a manger so we can get on with the gifts?
To be honest, I don't have very Christ-celebrating fruit when I push for “my” traditions. Christ’s fruit (joy, peace, and patience, to name a few) are festivity-ed out of my heart. And then - true confession - I end up feeling guilty. Guilty for spending too much money; guilty for sort of mixing culture with sacred; guilty for personally not focusing on the Messiah King more than decking the halls.
If that’s me celebrating Christmas then what does it look like for me to celebrate Christ?
Funny enough, it’s the traditions that I really have very little to do with. It’s lingering fellowship with dear friends around our kitchen table, movies with others, time away from the crazy to be a family, and PJ’s until noon. It’s eating cookies together with milk and hot chocolate while staying up past bed time. It’s reading “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” as a family. It is NOT anything having to do with glitter because glitter is just wrong.
These are the things that make me dwell on how “the Savior reigns” and make me want to “repeat the sounding joy”. They are Kingdom gifts as are Christ choosing to wrap Himself in flesh, choosing to be a servant rather than a king, and choosing to give His perfection to us and die as the guilty in our place. And they turn my heart to worship the baby in the manger and not just give a nod.
Celebrating Christ during Christmastime, by enjoying his gifts, trumps the mayhem of the Christmas pageant and brings rest.
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The Military Bible Stick is designed specifically to bring God’s Word to men and women deployed in the U.S. Military. It’s a small digital player pre-loaded with the New Testament and Psalms specifically selected for our troops. If you would like to support this opportunity beyond your regular giving, make a separate check to MCC, with “Military Bible Stick” in the memo. Contact Chris Willadsen for more information.
We have a terrific opportunity to spread God’s love and his Word to the international students attending UNM. MCC has been working with ISI for many years helping international students as they arrive in town for the new academic year.
Volunteers are needed in several capacities:
Picking students up at airport, temporary homestays, or helping with apartment hunting
Help at welcome center
Furniture movers, pickup and distribution
Prepare dish for volunteer/student lunches (sign-up sheets will be in the foyer)
These activities will run July 31-August 17, pick the times that work best for you. There are also opportunities that span the entire school year as well:
Assist with English program
Student friendship partners (meet monthly with student)
Please contact Vince Tidwell or Stan Schug for
more information or to get involved.
The door is open to share the Gospel in our public schools! Come and be a part of Bible Club! The trainings are from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. either
August 4th at Mountain Valley Church
August 11th at Monterey Baptist in Albuquerque.
Contact Gail Salazar at 980-6890 or email at
email@example.com to RSVP.