• Richard Parrish

God Is With Us Today




This season, for me, tends to be stressful. Aside from unpleasant childhood memories, the hurried busyness exacerbated by the Christmas crunch equally annoys me.


It is common to hear challenging reminders from pastors and priests during the Advent season that encourages us to embrace the importance of waiting for the coming of Christ. We are cautioned not to forget the real meaning of Christmas. Then, in the same breath, we are challenged to be present for all the program rehearsals and invite all of our busy friends to join us at this year’s Christmas spectacular!


Now, lest some think I'm Mr. Scrooge, let me say: I do enjoy seeing churches and parishes who find creative and innovative ways to tell the story of Christ’s coming. It is always a delight to see the sparkling eyes of children, as they see the bright lights reminding us of this glorious season. I’m not Mister Humbug! But this time of year is busy enough without adding in responsibilities and events at church.


The Christmas season is busy for everyone, even those who don’t attend church regularly. To those of us engaged in bell choirs, vocal cantatas, musical preparation, media productions, and fine-tuning messages that will help others discover the real meaning of Christmas, it is extra challenging to concentrate on God’s active presence with us.


Is it possible to be aware of God’s personal presence with us throughout this Christmas season? He has told us in His Word that He is always with us.


Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-10)


In our Christmas busyness, it's easy to think that life must first slow down before we can find God again. The truth is that God is with us right now.


Perhaps if we can intentionally stop and focus our hearts on God, it will change our prayer from: “God, help me get through this season so I can rediscover you!” to “Lord, thank you because you are here today!”


Let us not forget to take a holy pause with our friends, our family, and even our coworkers to remember that God is with us. It’s something all of us need to remember this season, especially me!

Lord, may I be reminded to stop, remember, and rejoice

because you are with me – even in my busyness!


Are you looking for a place to receive spiritual direction and encouragement in these challenging times? Please consider joining my mailing list. Each Wednesday you’ll receive my latest blog posts with practical content designed to support you in your life and faith.


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