“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them…The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child and his mother, Mary, and they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
This time of year is not my favorite. At one time, I used to bake eight to ten different kinds of cookies and make a couple of different kinds of candy. The house was decorated to the nines and the gifts were piled in their secret hiding place. Christmas cards had been addressed in September and just waiting for that special little note.
What happened? I got tired. Tired just thinking of the baking marathons and the money that was being spent. Tired of the hours of decorating. Tired of people around me being stressed.
To me, Christmas is a time of awe – not awwwww…….nuts! It is a time meant for joy and appreciation of a God who would leave His heavenly realm to come to earth as a human. He did this not only to die and save us from our sins. No. There is more. He became human, as I see it, so that we could never say to God, “You just don’t understand!” He does understand because He was one of us. He felt temptation. He knew physical and emotional anguish. He was human. And He never sinned making Him the perfect sacrificial offering to save us.
If you are stressed this holiday season, take a deep breath. Then figure out if the stressors are worth the return. It wasn’t until I stopped baking that I learned people would survive without the cookies! Sure, they miss them but I am told to not sweat it. Okay, I won’t!
Christmas gifts? We buy only for the grandparents and our children – and now our grandchild and, if we can, Angel Tree (Prison Fellowship program). We limit these gifts to what we can afford and not a penny more.
When was the last time you were “overjoyed” as the Magi were? When did you last “spread the word” about this Child?
I pray that you all have an awe inspired Christmas. I wish you happiness and peace within. gail