That ball cap isn’t much of a disguise. Santa may have a workshop full of elves making toys but he gets his produce at Kroger just like the rest of us. Thanks for stopping by, welcome to the Satur-deja Vu.
I had a pastor make an observation some years ago about small churches/ small church pastors. There are few mega churches with celebrity pastors but there are thousands of smaller churches across America with congregations of 100, 50 or even smaller. More people attend medium or small churches than the few really big ones. I think small towns are very similar. You may watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television or the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade sponsoring Toys for Tots last night. But there are thousands of small towns with fall festivals, county fairs, little theater groups and their own parades and tree lightings across the country. More people live in small towns and communities than in the few really big cities, if you think about it.
I grew up in what many would consider a small town that has gotten a lot bigger just in my lifetime. I remember when K-Mart opened, later Walmart, and then when our Walmart store was replaced by the Walmart Supercenter. Since then we have lived in places like Lindale, Oneida, KY and Plainville. I know who my neighbors next door are as well as for several houses in every direction. In our local elections in November, 45 people turned out to vote. (I got 42 votes as I ran unopposed for re-election to the city council). Pictured above is the honorable Mayor of Plainville, that’s me in the sweater, and our firechief posing with Santa Claus. Can you keep a secret? He is also a council member. He actually came to the last meeting wearing the suit. A little further up is my family at the tree lighting ceremony. Hot cocoa, prancing horses, a high school marching band and 300 family members, friends and neighbors. A good time was had by all.
So once again I did not go a lot of blogging this week but was incredibly busy doing things in real life. We had the Christmas parade and tree lighting Monday, my birthday was on Wednesday, and we were supposed to have our church Christmas dinner last night but that got pushed back to this evening. The same thing or something similar happens every year at this time. Every group you are a part of wants to do something for Christmas; there’s always an office or work Christmas party, a school program, family gatherings and if you are involved in your local church there’s a church pageant or Christmas party, or both, plus every Sunday school class/small group tries to meet together and if you happen to be the church pastor you get invited to everything. I’m not complaining that we have these things; they are celebrations after all. But it’s a lot to do. On top of that many of us will travel for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both, because families are spread out. The first Christmas was spent out of town, if you think about it.
You don’t want family or friends to feel snubbed and that’s good on you. But try to find some time, even if it’s just a few very short times, that you can be alone with your thoughts. Worship involves removing ourselves from the stresses of life and focusing on the things of God. Rest is a gift and one that God commanded in the Old Testament. In addition to the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus notice that he and the disciples sometimes got away from the crowd to find solitude and recover. It is not selfish or lazy to take care of yourself. Yes there is a lot to do, try not to overdo it. I will try too.
Not a real ad; don’t think about it too hard.
Enjoy your weekend. Peace.