Christmas Special reading time: about a minute! Just in case no one else has said it to you, thank you for your faithful service to the Lord and to His Church in this beautiful, wondrous season. I have so much appreciation and respect for all you’ve done this Advent and Christmas. Most of the sacrifices you’ve made for the ministry of the gospel have gone unnoticed, but remember that the Lord knows, and I, for one, get it. Thank you. If you are married, and especially with young children at home, your family has contributed to the proclamation of the good news this Christmas also. They’ve offered you up to the church for a season, where it might have been nice to have you around a little more often the last few weeks. Maybe this week can be a time for catching up a little! There’s no way I can know, but if your experience was anything like mine was for many years, your post-Christmas family catch up time might need to begin with an apology. I generally had the sense that I was being a good husband and father in spite of the busyness of the season, but further reflection clarified for me that my wife and children were hurting a little bit. We proclaim grace in our profession and need to learn to live by it also. Have you told your family how you feel about how the last couple of weeks have been for your family? Or have you asked them how they feel? I hope all is well, but it might be an opportunity for healing. Then make time together a top priority in this in-between week. Hopefully, children are off of school. If you’ve neglected family a bit in recent weeks, how about neglecting some ministry responsibilities this week. Readjust some priorities. Let some church leaders know, “This or that is going to be put on the back burner. My family needs me.” There’s nothing wrong with a 25-30 hour work-week when it follows a couple of 60s! Find the joy of family life again this week. You deserve it, and they certainly do! You’ve got my permission! Thanks for reading!