Guard Your Heart
Reflection by Rev. Dale Carden, Owensboro District Superintendent
The season of Advent prepares us for the coming of the Christ Child. One of my most meaningful remembrances from my time in ministry came the week following one of our Hanging of the Greens services. We had decorated the sanctuary the first Sunday evening of Advent before with the usual decorations. I remember especially the Crèche. Following the service I had taken the baby Jesus from the Crèche to be returned on Christmas Eve. On Monday morning, the mother of one of our children came to my office and said she had something to share with me. She then began to tell me of how her small son had wanted to go back in and see the Crèche before going home after the Hanging of the Greens service. When he looked at the Crèche, the baby Jesus was missing. She said he didn’t say anything at that point, but when they arrived home, he was somewhat quiet and went immediately to his room. A few minutes later, his mom went to check on him. He was sitting on his bed with his face in his hands. Mom asks him if everything was ok. He them looked up with a concerned look on his face and said, “We can’t have Christmas this year; someone stole the baby Jesus.” We had a laugh and she went on her way. We both knew that wasn’t the case as we would place baby Jesus back in the Crèche on Christmas Eve.
As the day went on, I began to think more about his words and thinking to myself how many folks have felt the joy of Christmas has been stolen from us with all the commercialization of the Christmas season. I said to myself, “I will make every effort to keep Christ in Christmas and guard my heart and activities to make sure no one steals the ‘baby Jesus’ from me.” I encourage you this year to guard your mind and heart and keep Christ in this holy season. Prepare yourself each day for those things which would seek to steal your joy of the coming of the Christ child.
St Mark 1:3: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his path straight.”
Prayer: Lord, be with me this day as we move toward the birth of the Christ child. Guard my heart and mind and let nothing steal the joy of your coming into this world to be our Savior. Amen.