Keeping our eyes on Jesus during holiday season


   Greetings in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
 We are in the midst of the season of Advent, and I hope that you are continuing to prepare your hearts and minds for a glorious celebration of the birth of Christ this Christmas.
   Advent is a season that should be filled with watching, waiting, and joyful preparation, but sometimes just the opposite seems to happen, doesn’t it? 
    Numerous social gatherings, hectic shopping for gifts, holiday traffic and the like can cause us to become unsettled. Our normal routines shift to include the pressures of the holiday season and peaceful preparation may feel far away. It’s almost Christmas, and it seems only natural that Jesus would be central during this time. Yet, so often, we lose our holy focus in the other activities of the holidays.
     I invite you to keep a holy Advent. Spend time devotionally. Sing the songs of Advent and Christmas joyfully. Share your faith with family and friends appreciatively. Worship the Lord with thankful hearts. Pray for the Prince of Peace to reign in our lives and in our world.
     Like the shepherds in the biblical story of the birth of Jesus, let us glorify and praise God for the good news we hear and see in this most holy season! Let us watch and pray as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
   On behalf of my wife, Margaret, and me, and our whole North Georgia conference staff, may you continue to have a wonderful Advent, and I wish each of you a blessed Christmas.  
  Mike Watson
Resident Bishop
North Georgia Episcopal Area
The United Methodist Church