· Church Renewal

The heart of Christmas

By Bishop Gary Mueller

Since it’s true, I’ll just go ahead and admit it. I am a Christmas geek.

I love this time of the year with all the decorations, parties, carols and just about anything and everything Christmas, except the commercialization, of course.

Which means I once again will enjoy it all without any guilt whatsoever. And I hope you will too.

However, in my quieter moments, I wonder whether my delight with all things Christmas camouflages what matters most about Christmas.

That’s why I hope you will join me in doing something essential and urgent in these days leading up to Christmas––Get to the heart of Christmas.

Here is heart of Christmas: For reasons we can never begin to comprehend, God decided to overlook all our sin and become one of us in order to give us what we absolutely need, but can never get on our own––salvation. In other words, God loves us so much God doesn’t turn away from us. God embraces us, and is deeply involved in our lives.

So why does this matter?

The heart of Christmas changes everything. It affects how you see yourself, what matters most to you, and how you deal with others. It affects the ways you spend your money, how you vote, and how you feel about your life.

If you let Christmas take root in your heart, it will shape your life forever.

But, this can only happen if you focus more on the baby Jesus in the manger than you do on all the wonderful things that accompany the season.

So, the question you have to answer is, “How serious are you about the heart of Christmas?”

This is not a question about how enmeshed you are in the Christmas frenzy, or how exhausted you are when the family leaves or the decorations come down. It’s not a question about how sick you are of hearing “Santa Baby” or how depressed you are when it’s time to pay off the credit card.

May the reality of the incarnation that is the baby Jesus who has come to us as one of us live in your heart –– now and forever.

Merry Christmas.

Bishop Gary Mueller, vice president

General Commission on UM Men



Back to News Articles