Peace be with you!
It just does not feel like Christmas. Jerry and I have been so busy unpacking and organizing our new home that we have missed the holiday season. We have a Santa and a ginger man out to make our home feel a little Christmasly, because they were handy to put out. Jerry has his stocky up, because his mom just sent it in the mail. Other than that our home looks like it is just another day. We rush around everyday trying to get our home set up by attacking the mountain of boxes. And of course, there have been a few things that have not worked, like our bedroom fan and the roll-in showers. We have been working with the builder, my step-dad, and my brother to solve little issues around the house.
The only reason I know it is Christmas is the fact Hallmark has Christmas movies on every night, plus there is the usual hustle and bustle at stores as people rush around to find the perfect gifts. For the most part, I have missed the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Jerry and I have to save money for things, like curtains, that we need around the house, so we only got gifts for our immediate family. And do not ask where our famous Christmas card and letter is, because I have yet to write it. Maybe next year…
As I reflect on the Luke text that we read every Christmas, I cannot help but wonder if our unprepared Christmas is really what God would want. Here is Joseph and Mary rushing to Bethlehem to registrar for the census that Emperor Augustus called for (Luke 2:1). We also know Mary travelled to see Elizabeth who expecting a child in her old age. After travelling so much, I wonder if Mary had time to prepare the nursery or if the baby shower gifts were just thrown in a room with the hope she will have time to organize upon her return. And what did her doctor think of all this traveling?
Then Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem, and all of the hotels are filled up. The census is a great excuse for a giant family reunion. I bet Mary had a few choice words for Joseph: “I am due any day with God’s baby, and you drag me to Bethlehem so we can registrar for this stupid census. Oh and you forgot to reserve a room. … Huhmmm Joseph, you better find a place to stay quick because my water just broke. … No, I am delivering God’s son in a tavern. … A stable will be warm with all the animals. Why don’t you ask the farmer??? And hurry Joseph!!!! …”
Mary and Joseph were really prepared when they got to Bethlehem, and she was about to deliver God’s son, just as prepared as Jerry and I are this Christmas. Mary probably had no doctor in Bethlehem lined up.
But in the midst of this hectic time Mary delivers a baby boy name Jesus. And an angel appears to shepherds announcing the arrival of “a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The shepherds decide to go to Bethlehem and see the child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.
Suddenly, the busyness of the world melts away as the young couple treasures the first moments of their son’s life, a baby given to them by God. Then shepherds who are not honorable individuals in biblical times show up announcing their son is a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. Everyone who heard the shepherds’ proclamation was amazed, except Mary who treasured these moments in her heart (Luke 2:19).
As you go about your hectic Christmas festivities, take a few moments to hear the shepherds’ proclamation announcing the arrival of “a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. Let it catch you off guard. Feel the amazement of the arrival of the Messiah.
Come, oh Lord, Come!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for amazing us with the arrival of the Messiah. Help us to treasure the shepherds’ proclamation. Thank you for the blessing of gathering with friends and family this Christmas. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. How does the arrival of the Messiah catch you off guard? How are you unprepared for the arrival of the Messiah?
2. How does the arrival of the Messiah amaze you?