Christmas can be one of the busiest times of year. Christmas shopping, Christmas baking, Christmas concerts, Christmas gatherings, Christmas clean-up… the list goes on. For myself and many other students, this time of year marks the end of a semester, which adds to the busyness.

How does one slow down at a time like this? What does it even mean to slow down?

I would suggest that “slowing down” is not necessarily doing less (although some of us should probably be less busy). Rather, it involves shifting our purpose from doing in order to worship God, to being a worshipper of God.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger… And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.”

(Luke 2:8-12, 16 ESV)

When the shepherds heard the news from the angels, they left to go see Jesus. They went to be in the presence of God.

I am concerned about our need to constantly be doing things for God. Rather than thinking that we need to do something for God, maybe we should consider that everything we do is already being done in the presence of God. Slowing down, perhaps, means simply acknowledging this truth and living according to it.


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