Please enjoy this very special Advent offering, a gift from one of our own, Jenny Johnson Spidell (daughter of Elaine Johnson, Worship Coordinator) who grew up in our church, served in many roles in FUMCFW youth ministries, Cornerstone Youth Choir, and served as a young adult leader and Youth Ministries intern. After graduating with honors from Oklahoma City University with a degree in Religious Education and Interfaith Dialogue, Jenny is now pursuing ordination at TCU’s Brite Divinity School.
Jenny was asked to give a Christmas Day devotional for The Rooted Community at Arborlawn United Methodist Church where she currently serves as Director of Group Life for The Rooted Community.
“This is simply beautiful,” remarks Dr. Tim Bruster, Senior Pastor. “What a great message! It fits perfectly with our “Still Christmas” theme!”
We encourage you to read this short piece as a Christmas Eve gift to yourself and someone dear. Wait. Don’t read it to yourself first. Find someone and read it aloud to them in order to fully appreciate its magic.
Merry Christmas, First Church Family!
I don’t know how he did it, but somehow Dr. Seuss predicted what the 2020 Christmas season would be like. Do you know what story of his I’m thinking of? We, dear friends, are the Whos from Cowtown, and our Grinch is cloaked in tiny little viral molecules. When Dr. Seuss wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he whimsically painted a portrait for us of what truly matters today, and the Whos from Who-ville already taught us what to do.
“I must stop Christmas from coming!” says the Grinch in the book. You know how the story goes… The Grinch dresses as Santa Claus with his sweet puppy Max posing as a reindeer, and they sneak down to Who-ville to steal Christmas from the Whos. The Grinch doesn’t leave a single ornament or crumb, but what he didn’t account for was that he could not steal the meaning of Christmas from within the hearts of the Whos.
The Grinch of 2020 has tried its hardest to steal Christmas. Our Grinch made it more difficult to gather with loved ones today, made our wallets a little thinner in preparation for today, and prohibited many from worshiping in person with their church community during this season of Advent — and yet — Christmas is here. The Grinch has failed once again to stop the joy that Christmas day brings. The Whos down in Who-ville knew that the meaning of Christmas is not in the lights, parties, gifts, food, or decorations; when they woke up on Christmas morning and those things were gone they still couldn’t help but sing songs of joy!
Christmas came this year despite the Grinch’s best efforts to stop it because even a pandemic can’t overshadow God’s divine entrance into our broken, human world. The Whos would know exactly what to do today — they would sing — and we should follow suit. With or without a big meal or presents, regardless of the amount of decorations you put up, whether you gathered with family or chose to stay distanced, I pray that today will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God. The Christchild is born, bringing hope, peace, love, and joy with him, and shining his light into the darkness of 2020. Nothing and no one, not even the Grinch of 2020, can remove the Light of the World from within you. Merry Christmas, dear one — sing on!