God willing, when December 25th arrives I will have been around to participate in forty nine total Christmas seasons. Forty Nine! Man did that happen fast.
My family looks forward to Christmas each year and we do our best to make it an enjoyable season / event for everyone involved. Speaking for myself, I gave up on creating the “perfect” Christmas experience years ago. Perfect is an elusive outcome. Just shoot for “grand”, that’s my advice.
In all honesty, a “perfect Christmas” has not been achieved since the very first Christmas. By worldly standards though that first one would have been far from perfect, but indeed it was.
Consider if you will the setting for the first Christmas………….
Remember that Jesus was born to parents that were every bit as human as you and I. They didn’t live in black and white. Everything was just as in color for them as it is for us today. Look around you. It was just that real.
Nine months pregnant Mary was not in the comfort of a modern home, or any home for that matter. She was riding a donkey through the night. Joseph, could do nothing for his pregnant wife except perhaps hold her hand or lead the donkey.
They had no posh “reservations” waiting for them at the local hospital. Not even a light left on for them at the local Motel 6. After arriving at their destination town of Bethlehem shelter was ultimately found in a stable, which is also called a barn.
Indeed, humble surroundings welcomed Christ’s arrival, but that was the plan. The birth of the greatest example of an obedient servant the world has ever known and a savior for those that would and will follow him took place not within the pomp and circumstance of a royal palace……….but quietly in a common barn.
That first Christmas was indeed far from a perfect setting by “worldly standards” but it was completely perfect by God’s standards. He orchestrated it all.
Contrast that first Christmas with what Christmas has become today. Things have changed to say the least but the season, the birth of The Savior, is still to be celebrated. So, enjoy yourself! Deck the halls, the walls, the house, the front yard and the dog. Do it up big just don’t forget the reason. Don’t forget the why” in it all, which is this….
To celebrate the birth of a child. God incarnate in a human body. A baby that would grow up too spend His life on this earth in the constant obedient execution of His Fathers’s will. Providing us with a living human example of how God would have us to live, love, serve and forgive. Offering those that would choose to follow Him the gift of eternal salvation when “this” (look around you again) is all over. Indeed the greatest gift of all.
In the midst of it all this year make sure that you pay attention to what is going in around you. Be where your feet are this Christmas season because, “This”…. is all happening really really fast.
Have yourself a Merry Christmas!
Get in the boat. Do your part.
Shane / #16
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