Rejoice with me.

Just as you did, I heard the Christmas carols in November, saw the red and green replace the orange and brown, watched the candy aisle transform from bags for trick-or-treat to candy canes and designer M&Ms and watched Christmas overtake Thanksgiving once again.

But something was different for me this year. None of that bothered me at all. If anything, I just smiled at the merchandizing and remembered being in business and the things that must be done to stay in business.

Business will be business.

Christmas will be Christmas.

This year, I will not stress about all those things that have nothing to do with the coming of Jesus.

I am at peace with the world, knowing that the world will just be the world, and the church, although a part of the world, will be the church.

What I look forward to is decorating the sanctuary, celebrating Advent, singing the hymns and carols, watching the kids prepare for the play and getting ready for the Christmas Eve worship.

I will look forward to the Rotary Christmas concert in our sanctuary and to doing some kind and generous things for folks to let them know they matter to us here at the church.

I will enjoy family times together, eat some good food, pray a little more and remember those I’ve loved and lost through the years.

I will let go of some anger and resentments, pray for real or perceived enemies and hope they pray for me.

I will go and sit quietly in our prayer chapel and sanctuary and wait to hear instructions from our God.

I will clean up some things, drink more water, make a list of blessings and keep adding to it.

Then, I will rejoice with Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men and the angels, for Jesus who comes as a baby to save a broken world.

Will you rejoice with me?

Moving to the deeper places,