We use cookies in order to save your preferences so we can provide a feature-rich, personalized website experience. We also use functionality from third-party vendors who may add additional cookies of their own (e.g. Analytics, Maps, Chat, etc). Read more about cookies in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you do not accept our use of Cookies, please do not use the website.

Header Image

A Long, Slow Christmas

December 19 2018
December 19 2018


In our culture, it is an uphill climb to embrace a long, slow Christmas season. It is hard to pause and soak in the spirit of Advent, the “waiting” for Christmas. My children gleefully count down the days until Christmas, while I attempt to live in the tension between their excitement and anticipation and my own worries and to-do lists. As I encourage Redeemer’s parents today, I am really preaching to myself!

It is easy to load ourselves down with self-imposed strain and guilt about things we think are important in order for Christmas to happen, not to mention the pressure to make it “magical.” When we say we want to prepare Him room, we often behave as if this were first a matter of preparing our homes and running errands, overlooking the state of our hearts all cluttered with our concerns and burdens, and leave no room for the King of kings to enter our messiness. How do we point our children to this Rescuer in a season we ourselves struggle to navigate with quiet hearts?   

Practically, we can slow time down in small ways with Advent readings, the singing of Christmas hymns, the lighting of candles, and telling of the Hope that is to come. It also helps to remember that Christmas Day is not the end of this season! The church calendar provides us an opportunity to hold the miracle of Christ’s birth in our hearts well past December 25.

Just as Advent culminates in Christmas, Christmas culminates in Epiphany. The main theme of Epiphany is Jesus as the light of the world, revealed to all nations, including the Gentiles. Jesus is revealed to us and we celebrate his coming for all people, for all nations on this special day.  If you haven’t contemplated including this date and season in your traditions, consider how you might highlight it in your own family this year, when the parties and school events and preparations of this busy week before Christmas have passed.

A long, slow Christmas won’t come naturally. During this season of waiting, we must make a conscious effort to reflect, rethink our priorities, and receive forgiveness fresh for our weary souls. To spend the days leading up to Christmas like this is profoundly countercultural, but it will serve us and our children well.

If you’re feeling harried and fretful this time of year, remember that there is still time, and that the waiting and celebration is joyful not because of our own efforts, but because of the One who has come. God will use even the seemingly minor things we do now to make a significant impact long term in our children’s hearts as we celebrate His gift to us.


Leave a Comment

Email Help Tip
Characters Remaining: 5000


December 18, 2018

2019 Mission Trip Teams Forming Soon

Redeemer’s mission trip teams for 2019 will start holding interest meetings in January. Because months go into preparing, fundraising, and learning about the culture the team will visit, now is not ...
December 10, 2018

Winter Grace 2019: Life-Giving Friendships

Can you think of someone in your life who has “given life” to you in things she did or said? As we walk through life, there are those in our lives who have done and said things that have “given ...
December 18, 2018

Join Redeemer at San Antonio's MLK March

If you have never attended San Antonio’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March, you may be unaware that it is the largest in the nation. On average, 300,000 people attend the march each year, ...
November 10, 2018

How Long, O Lord?

The holiday season is now upon us. Christmas and the New Year will be here before you know it. When we’re children, we may say that Christmas takes “forever” to arrive, but by the time we’re adults, ...
November , 2018

2018 End-of-Year Giving Update

Dear Members and Friends, The holiday season is now upon us. Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas only six short weeks away. That also means that we are rapidly closing in on the end of another ...