Dec 23, 2021 | By the Rev. Julia Singleton | Pastor, Fox Chase UMC, Philadelphia

I’m a clergymom. So, Advent is one of the most overwhelming times of year.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the magic-bringer. 

At church, I make sure all the traditions are followed, the church is beautiful, the Christmas letter goes out, the sermons are inspiring, the shut-in folks feel cared for, and so on…

And at home I need to bring the magic by decorating the house, sending out Christmas cards, buying and wrapping presents for everyone, trimming the tree, baking cookies for Santa, watching all the Christmas specials, and so on and so forth… 

When I was a kid, Christmas always felt so magical at church and at home. Now that I’m the mom and the pastor, I hyperventilate my way through Advent making sure all the magic happens for everyone else to enjoy.

But then at some point, I stop and remember that I’m not the magic-bringer. The magic– the miracle–of Christmas was already brought over 2000 years ago into a stable in Bethlehem. Emmanuel, God with Us!  

And the Angels proclaimed, “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord… Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!” (Luke 2:10-11, 14)

Julia Singleton
Julia Singleton

The Magic of Christmas is that light that shines in the darkness, a light that darkness cannot overcome. So when we stress about getting the Christmas cards out on time, or preparing the perfect feast for our families, or competing with the Clark Griswolds (from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) for the best outdoor lights display, let’s pause and remember that it isn’t up to us to bring the magic. The magic has already been brought. 

The traditions are beautiful, and they add to the joy and wonder of the season.  But let’s remember to step back and enjoy the gift that has already been given. And let’s stand in childlike awe at this great miracle. 

In all of our efforts this season, we are regifting a bit of that grace, that magic. We are helping others to pause and stand in childlike awe at this miracle. 

God is the miracle maker, the original giver of gifts, we are regifting the gift that has already been given when we show LOVE, when we point to HOPE, when we REJOICE in the Lord, and when we are PEACEmakers. 

Let us regift that grace that we have been given and continue to celebrate the magic of Christmas that began all those years ago. And let all the Glory be to God. Amen.