The wonder of a baby who came to Earth as fully God & fully man has turned into a commercialized, busy, & distracting time of year. Everyone is caught up in the gifts, programs, & activities that the world has let take over. But the story & the reason we celebrate is Jesus. The baby in the manger. Immanuel. God who became man to take away the sins of the world.
If you've grown up like I have, the Good News has become old news. The day after Thanksgiving doesn't mean I crank up the celebration thermostat to 100% Happy Birthday Jesus mode, but that I'm now soley worried about all the new Christmas music albums, decorations, & my long lists of wants. Jesus is forgotten. He's put behind it all. As the years go by, I almost feel as if Christmas is just like any other holiday. Obviously we do put a little more thought & effort into its productions, but like any other holiday, we've turned to celebrate people. Why else do we buy gifts? Why else to Santa's fill our shopping malls? Why else are there parades & parties & gifts? But the whole big deal about this is bringing our attention back to what is supposed to always be the main focal point for our lives as Christians: our Savior. Not at all am I saying we shouldn't get together & have a party with beautifully decorated trees & stockings & take pictures with the jolly ole guy in the suit, but we have to quit letting that take away the whole idea to be still.
Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God."
How do we do that though? Because, like I've said, the story of a virgin named Mary & a baby born in a barn is getting dusty on our shelfs. We've heard it a million times. Nothing's new. Well the truth is that God's word is living & active, therefore when we read it we continually discover new truths. Never let yourself be satisfied with your knowledge of the Christmas story. If we would just allow ourselves the ability to hear & read the story with open ears & hearts we might just be able to admire it as if for the first time.
One of my favorite storys is "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. If you haven't read it, put me on pause to go buy it - seriously. Basically it's about these horrible kids (named the Herdmans) who have never heard about Jesus, & they get caught up in a church, with a bunch of people who hate them, & take over the kids Christmas pageant. By the end of the book you more than likely will cry, I will say that. But my favorite part is close to the end, when it seems that all of the Herdmans understand Christmas for the first time. It's the end of the pageant & one of the girls, Imogene, just breaks down in tears; right there in front of the whole church, while holding the baby doll representing the baby Jesus.
That should be us. Horrible people who get caught up in the miracle of Jesus & His becoming man to save us. We should be completely taken aback. We should be able to sit, in the gap between all the unknowns of our lives, in complete stillness of Christmas. With our tear-streaked faces, & hearts overflowing with gratefulness, we should praise Him.
So be reminded, loved one, of the grace showered upon you in the form of a baby, your King & your Savior, who once apon a time was born in a broke down ole barn filled with smelly animals. Because that's the wonder of Christmas.
& with so much joy in my heart I wish you a very merry one.
"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God is with us.'" Matthew 1:23
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6