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Have you ever thought of the reason for the season?

Have you ever thought, as we race towards the end of 2018, that our lives are filled with many things to enjoy and many things we need to do? Have you ever thought how we can get so caught up in doing what we think we must do, that we miss why we are doing what we are?

Thanksgiving has come and gone.   Christmas is four weeks away.   It is as if someone has fired a starting pistol and the race is on.  For everything we get done, there seems to be two more things crop up to be accomplished.  Listen to the warning that Jesus gave in the first words of Luke 21:34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down….”   Let us be careful in all the preparations to not lose the meaning of the season. 

Maxie Dunnam, president emeritus of the Asbury Theological Seminary, gave some good advice in “Alive in Christ” when he wrote, 

“A wise old owl lived in an oak;

The more he saw the less he spoke.

The less he spoke, the more he heard.

Why can’t we all be like that bird?”

The Christmas Season got underway here in Covington with the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree on the Square on Nov. 15.  Fireworks were added this year.  As choirs sang the entire Square came alive in light. The evening was named of the ten best tree lightings in the entire state.  Spend some time around the square, and you will find the Christmas spirit growing on you.  Our thanks for Mainstreet and the City of Covington    

Let’s be like the Wise Old Owl and just and just soak in this Christmas.  Let us not get so fast “doing” Christmas that we miss Christmas.   More important than all the presents that we may exchange is our presence with those important in our lives.  

Covington’s annual Lions Club Christmas parade, in fact, happened just this Saturday and Santa Claus made a special appearance as he did at the Christmas Tree lighting.  Of course, we all know that we never know when he will make an appearance.   You can help him do so by being a part of the Secret Angel program of the Salvation Army or the Red Kettles you may pass during this season.

I sure wouldn’t want you to think you’ve missed everything.   For example, there are three more Thursday evenings left of Candlelight and Carriages.  These are on Dec. 6, 13, and 20.   Each evening starts at 6 p.m. and goes to 9 p.m.  The sponsors are Newton Federal Bank and High Priority Plumbing.     

Each of these evenings is a time for a horse-drawn carriage ride.  You can stop by one of the restaurants for dinner, Bread and Butter Café and Baker or Scoops for a treat.  Spend some time at the shops picking up some very unique gifts for those on your list as you enjoy the evening.            

One great Covington tradition “Twilights at Chinmay Park” is having to be canceled this year.  This is due to the weather forecast.  It will be back next year on the first Sunday in December.  Our thanks to all who were prepared to have a great evening.  And may we learn the lesson that we need to take advantage when we can of all our community does to celebrate Christmas.         

On Sunday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. there will two showing s of a live Nativity on the Square.  The ancient Christmas story will come alive in a re-enactment of that ancient night in Bethlehem.  There will be reading from the Christmas story with Christmas music.  This is all presented by First United Methodist Church of Covington.  This is a great way to recall the reason we celebrate Christmas.     

The  Arts Association in Newton Country will present the Nutcracker on Dec. 8 and 9.  You can purchase tickets online at the Arts Association.  OR call the Association for more information.

You can get pictures taken with Santa on the square on Dec. 15. 1 to 5  p.m., or Dec. 16, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.  Bring your own camera and there is no charge.  If you prefer you may purchase photos from the professional photographer available.

Notice this list doesn’t include all the decorating, wrapping, cooking, and shopping that you will feel led to do. There are cards and packages to mail.  There will be special services at your church and of course the programs you have children or grandchildren in.   With half the time gone between the lighting of the tree to start the season and Christmas day coming.   It is easy to see how we find ourselves missing so much.  Let us take the time, to simply soak in the meaning of the season.  Let us take the time to remember why we are so busy.                                         

B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.