May 2 – The Bridegroom is Here

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Matthew 9:14-15

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”

One of the best lessons I learned when I was still young was to not spend so much time anticipating the future, either with excitement or dread, that you miss out on the present. Whenever I spend time focusing on future events to the point that I no longer pay attention to the present, I am reminded of that lesson and slow down, then reconsider where my focus should be.

Christmas Eve was always difficult at our house. We would come off a very trying Christmas season where all of us had been running ragged trying to get school events fit in and church programs managed. It seemed like it was one thing after another and our family simply went into high stress mode until Christmas morning, when the excitement of gift giving and then a day of quiet was at hand.

By Christmas Eve, it was difficult to focus on anything other than Christmas morning.  But, we would eat a quick dinner and head to church to prepare for the service that evening. We were all involved in some way or other, whether in a choir or handbell choir, singing in small groups or accompanying the service, reading a scripture verse or lighting candles.

It would have been easy to shuffle through the Christmas Eve service and hurry home to get some sleep before waking early the next morning; but something always happened for me. Whether it was singing carols with people who meant the world to me, or listening as people read the powerful story of Jesus’ birth, or hearing the same stories Dad had told for years in his sermon; I settled and took in the moment.

Today, as much as I remember Christmas morning, I remember those amazing Christmas Eve services.  The excitement of gathering together with friends, chattering and greeting each other before the service started and finally the lit candles flooding sanctuaries with light, extinguished as we quietly left and returned to our homes.

Jesus had come to be with us.  We remembered that moment when He arrived on earth and it was enough that we were with him and he was (is) with us.

Experience the moments fully.