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December 2008

“T'was the Night Before Christmas”

In the classic Christmas poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas", we get the picture that everything was ready on that Christmas Eve night. The stockings were hung, the children were nestled, and Mamma and Papa were settled down for a long winter's nap. It looked like all the preparations were complete. They could pause with a sigh of relief. That's a good thing, because the theme of preparation is front and center this time of year. In fact, it seems that the Christmas season is as much about the preparation as it is about the day of celebration. With making time for home decorating, children's programs, company parties, and shopping excursions, we barely have the energy to celebrate when Christmas day arrives. Would you like to try something different this year? It's taken a while to develop these bad preparation habits, so give yourself some time to refocus your Advent season.

Why not take a deep breath as Advent begins and make a plan for your family's preparation. I encourage you to intentionally run less and put more of Christ into this Advent season. Here are a few ideas that might help you prepare in a new way this year:

  1. Purchase a small advent candle set, light the candles and read the Christmas Scriptures each week.
  2. Decide as a family to do one service project together. Serve a meal, decorate a home, shovel a walk, buy a gift, bake cookies, remove lutefisk, do something for someone else.
  3. Attend worship every week .
  4. Go caroling with the church on December 17th at 6:30pm.
  5. Send cards of encouragement to those who are alone.
  6. Invite a new family to your home to say Hi!
  7. Spend time reading about Jesus every day of Advent.
  8. Attend a Christmas Cantata as a family.

This year, I hope you will do more than put up the tree, hang the stockings and settle everyone in for the long winters nap. Our preparation is key as we welcome the Christ child this Christmas.

May God richly bless you this Christmas Season,

--Pastor Craig

Community Covenant Church
Pastor Craig Johnson
P.O. Box 278, Upsala, MN 56384     Church (320) 573-2672     Fax (320) 573-4172