A Blessed Christmas Greeting to All!
It’s beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas! Advent and Christmas festivities are in full swing. People are heading to the shops and stores looking for that perfect gift for those they love. Neighbors are donning their homes with lights and colorful Christmas characters. The sights and sounds remind us that the Christmas (Advent) season is upon us.
Christmas preparations fill our time with decorating, purchasing, wrapping, traveling, and celebrating. Christmas parties, special events, and gatherings help us experience the joy and good cheer of the season, but also make a full schedule even fuller. Sometimes we might wonder if we will have the time to get everything done before December 25th. We may even start looking past Christmas, yearning for Christmas to be over so we can finally rest and relax.
Those of us who follow Jesus want to make sure that all the Christmas celebrations and preparations don’t crowd out the true reason we celebrate this special time of year. In our pursuit to celebrate Christmas, Jesus sometimes gets left out.
With all the hustle and bustle, we have to be intentional to keep Jesus at the center of our celebration. If we don’t pay attention, Jesus can slip out of focus and we might not even notice.
There were many who looked past Jesus the faithful morning of his birth. People were busy going about their day and living their lives. They weren’t concerned about Christmas trees or making Eggnog, but they had other tasks keeping them busy.
Only a few discovered what God was doing in that feeding trough in Bethlehem. The shepherds heard the Good News of Jesus’ birth from angels and went to see God’s gift of love, then went back praising God and sharing the Good News of great joy with all. The Magi were far away following a star when Jesus was born. They were actively seeking the true King, but would arrive about as long as two years after Jesus’ birth.
Those who encountered Jesus would never be the same. The world would never be the same. God loved the world so much that he gave…he gave his one and only Son. While celebrating the miracle of Jesus’ birth may we not miss the reality of his life.
May you keep Jesus at the center of your celebration and may he bring you hope, love, joy, and peace.