God has a surprise for you: You [Mary] will become pregnant
and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. Luke 1:29
Advent is a short season filled with surprises and drama. The curtain opens with two pregnant women—one “beyond her time” and the other who had never “been with a man.” The plot thickens when Elizabeth and Zechariah name their baby John, and later when Mary and her fiancé Joseph take off to register for the census right at the end of her pregnancy!
The “church” sets the stage to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The cast of characters (and some of them are characters) consists of normal folks—pastors, church musicians, administrators, maintenance people, and many volunteers. They don’t have stories as amazing as Mary and Joseph’s, Elizabeth and Zechariah’s, but we all have an important role in preparing worship for Christmas.
Support staff and volunteers work hard in the office and endure fellow workers and members who are stressed because of shopping, making too many commitments, and not getting enough rest. One day a crabby member complained about standing in line at the post office for an hour. I bit my tongue and wondered, How about me? I haven’t written a card or started my shopping. I’ll be mailing packages after Christmas—again!
The Advent scene is replayed every year in the office—the busyness, interruptions, and surprises. Each year I rely on the magic words, “Lord, help me!” The miracles of Christmas always happen. By the time the last supporting cast member leaves to go home on Christmas-Eve day, worship booklets are stacked in trays next to boxes of little candles ready for the worshippers—and the wonder of the Silent Night, Holy Night leaves me feeling blessed.
Dear God of Advent, bless those who wait, watch, and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus,
Reprinted from The Donut Theory — Inspiration and Encouragement for the Church Office.