December 23, 2023

Read John 7:40-52.

In some ways, the winter season has become a time of too much. There’s the stress of finals, pressure to buy the perfect gift, manage finances, hang up all the decorations. Showing the holiday spirit feels less about cheer and connection and more about having the biggest and best, be it presents, Christmas trees, or holiday meals. There’s little time to take a moment and process what’s going on outside us.

It’s easy to shut in and block out anything outside of what’s directly in front of us. And while this might seem to help, it means we have a good chance of blocking out something important. In this passage, the crowd has a lot of different things to say about Jesus, but some of them recognize who he truly is. When receiving such an overload of information, just ignoring it all doesn’t benefit us in the long run. Those who said, “this is too confusing, I’m walking away from figuring out who this man is,” missed out on the opportunity to learn from and know Jesus. That’s a huge loss.

How many times do we turn away because there’s so much chatter, because it takes extra effort to understand? What opportunities from God to grow and connect are we missing? What would our holiday season look like if we took a step back and refocused on what’s really important?


Dear Lord, give us the strength to stay present and listen when we want to block everything out. Help us seek out truth, even when it’s hard. Give us the energy to keep searching for you this holiday season. Amen.

Melissa Whitler
Hospitality and Program Intern, UKirk SMU