Our Christmas Opportunity by Doug Burian

Like all of you, I can easily get lost in the busy-ness of this season. Along with Holy Week, the seasons of Advent and Christmas are a particularly hectic time for church musicians. As a music director, the months of November and December are consumed with a seemingly endless to-do list – music to select, rehearsals to plan, volunteer schedules to manage, guest musicians to contact, and on and on it goes. For every fleeting moment when I feel like everything is taken care of, there is a longer lasting dose of reality that soon follows that lets me know there is more to do, or as my brain prefers to twist it, more I haven’t done. It can be overwhelming.

I have to intentionally combat those feelings of being overwhelmed. It’s too easy to let it snowball if I don’t. For me, the way I do this is to remind myself of two things:

  1. All is well, and all will be well.

Christmas will come, and it will be joyous, regardless of what I do or don’t do. That doesn’t mean that I won’t work hard and put forth my best effort. It just means that all is well, and all will be well.

  1. We have an opportunity.

Not only I as a leader within the church, but all of us, as members of Glenelg UMC and members of the Body of Christ at large, have an opportunity during this season. Our church doors will be more open this month than at any other time of the year. There is something about Advent and Christmas that inspires people to either try church out for the first time, or return to church again after a sometimes lengthy hiatus. Therein lies our opportunity.

We have the privilege – the distinct privilege – of demonstrating to people what it is that we are about as Christians, and as Glenelg UMC. We do this in many different ways – from the warm way they are greeted when they arrive, to the creative worship that is carefully planned, to the magnificent way in which we care for and educate their children, to the way we invite them into our fellowship, to the way that we follow up with them and let them know that their presence was cherished. All of these things are part of our opportunity during this busy time, and we are meant to seize that opportunity.

Friends – I have been to your homes and experienced first-hand the warmth of your welcome. You will stop at nothing to make someone feel like part of the family. And my experience is that, when you have extended that welcome, it has not been with an overwhelmed heart, but with a glad heart.

During this busy time, let us remind ourselves that all is well, and all will be well; and let us also remind ourselves of our opportunity to make someone feel like part of our church family. It literally can make all of the difference for that individual. After all, it’s what we were meant to do.