Points to Ponder: Christmas Day Pajama Party

Points to Ponder
Christmas Day Pajama Party
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

Many of us remember jumping out of bed on Christmas morning to open presents. In our pajamas and slippers we spent much of the morning tearing away the wrapping paper to play with our new treasures.
I also remember that before noon, Christmas seemed to be all over. Finished. I had a bunch of new stuff in front of me, and sort of a void within me. Isn't it sad that most of us lose that sense of excitement and anticipation by the time we are adults? Perhaps that happens because of how we did things as kids.
After all, how excited would you be about your birthday party if almost everything about it was not about you? Even the gifts aren't for you.
When Marcella and I began attending church, the pastor introduced us to a radical "new" tradition. He challenged us to come to church first on Christmas Day. After all, the gifts will still be there, but the day itself is about Jesus. (I say "new" because the first Christmases were about worship; it was called Christ Mass Day.)
The first year, we showed up grudgingly. It was informal; singing carols, telling stories, and hearing the Bible story. Then there was cake! "Happy Birthday" was sung, children blew out the candles, and all had cake and coffee for breakfast. That took all of 45 minutes and it made that Christmas Day incredibly different. Ever since I have been a pastor, we have carried on the practice of Jesus First. Those who have joined us tell me that Christmas was more special. WHY NOT TRY IT!
Don't touch the gifts 'til you've honored Jesus with your presence. Roll out of bed and go to His house first!
Wear your jammies and your slippers! Footie pajamas! Garfield slippers if you've got them. No formalities, no bulletins. Just some Christmas music, a story for the kids, and, of course, CAKE!
Don't bring an offering - you are the offering: the gift of presence to honor our Lord.
Go to a church near you or come to Hilltop Christian Fellowship - 9 a.m. Christmas Day.
Are you one of those folks who laments every year how "commercial" Christmas has become? Well, you can do something about it. The mall is closed, but God's house is not. And even if it is closed in your neighborhood, vow to do Christmas differently this year.
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Don't just wear one of the "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" pins. Practice that truth in your little circle of the world. Maybe things won't change much in the neighborhood, but it will make a difference in you. And that will honor God in a deep and meaningful way.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.