The Pondering Pastor

These "Ponderings" originally appeared as articles in our church newsletter or bulletin or just as the musings of one bald pastor. I place them here to encourage you, my fellow blogite and maybe to help us all in our pondering.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I MUSE OVER THIS WEEK’S EDITION of the Shepherd’s Staff I am sitting by the fire, listening to the rain on the skylight and taking a “sick day.” I thought I could beat this cold, but alas, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and today, well let’s just say, “I’m down but not out.” But, this down time does afford me the opportunity to think and pray, and to ponder the depth of the realities that we celebrate in this season of the year.

The Christmas presents have begun to accumulate under our Christmas tree and as I gaze at them I am saddened by the fact that there will be some presents missing this year. There will be no presents from or for my mom and dad, and most likely for my daughter Krista as well. But more than the lack of brightly wrapped packages, I shall miss their physical presence more.

Christmas is about presence. It’s not about God sending us some glorious wrapped box, but sending His presence in the Person of Jesus. The gift of God was His very presence in our world. The giving of God’s gift is our greatest motivation for giving during this season and hopefully throughout the year. His example should be our example.

With this in mind, it is clear that the greatest gift we can give to each other is more than just a present under the tree, but our presence with each other. Being with each other to listen, share, hold and enjoy. Just “being there” with those we love, and even with those we don’t. We, as followers of Jesus, are called to incarnational giving; being there with and for each other. This kind of Christmas presence may be more difficult to buy and wrap than the traditional gift placed under the tree, but its worth is far more lasting.

May we all experience the Christmas Presence this year, and may we share the gift freely.