Monday Musings – December 14, 2015

Dear Friends,

A wonderful children’s program last night.  Thanks to Karen Hatch and all the other moms who worked so hard on that.  And thanks to the kids.  They were the stars.  And then Sunday is the choir’s cantata at the 9 am service.  Again, a lot of work has gone into this.  I know it will be wonderful as it always is.  Thanks to Jeanne Kusterer and all the members of our rapidly growing choir.  Our choir loft is no longer big enough for them all!

There are so many “extra things” every December!  People ask if my work load increases this time of the year. It does.  But then I think back to the years when we had small children at home and all the extra “Santa related” tasks that were added to everything else.  Don’t know how we did it!  Or how you still do!

When I spent time with my mom last week we talked about the Christmases we children enjoyed at home.  My brother, sister, and I were really spoiled.  Santa never failed to stop at our house.  We didn’t have much money, but the gifts were always abundant and “just what we wanted”.  I will never forget those Christmas Eve nights, lying in bed, exhausted but too excited to sleep, filled with anticipation of what awaited us in the morning.  Not thinking at all about how my even more exhausted parents would be hard at work while I slept, making it all happen. (None of you let your young children read “Monday Musings”, do you?)

This is the time of the year when I do a lot of pondering.  (We’re told Mary “pondered” as well.  See Luke 2:19.)  I ponder how so many people, starting with my parents, have been so good to me.  I ponder whether I am following their example in being good to others.  I ponder life.  What a miracle!  What a gift!  But how quickly it passes.  I ponder my marriage, how blessed I have been to share my life with Helen.  I ponder my children, what a joy Kelsey, Heather, and Collin have been, each in their own unique way.  I ponder my ministry, all the great churches I have been privileged to serve, all the great people who have been part of my life, including each one of you.  There’s a lot to ponder.

Mostly, I ponder Jesus.  He’s been at the center of my life for most all of my life, but what does that mean?  What will that mean?  Am I going to be more like Jesus when I enter this season of pondering a year from now?  Or am I going to be like the stock market this year — lots of ups, lots of downs, but pretty much ending where I started, if not a little lower?

It’s OK to ponder.  It’s better to do something with all these ponderings.  Which is what I intend to do right now.

Blessings to you and yours in this special season.

In Christ,

John