“For God so loved the world that He Gave . . . “ John 3:16
As we approach Christmas Day the question I am frequently asked is, “Are you ready?” My answer generally is, “Almost!” I learned a long time ago that if there is still time left, I always find “Just one more thing . . . “ to do. You see, I am never really “done” in my head until the deadline finally arrives! Understanding that about myself has helped me to pace all of my “doing” so I’m not half dead when the event finally happens!
Last night my husband and I watched, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Watching it has been a tradition for us since before our kids left home. Some years we have turned it on and watched it with the grandkids but last night it was just us and it was as good as ever! (: It is a story about a church putting on a children’s play depicting the Christmas Story. Things go awry when the Herdman kids (the town troublemakers who know nothing about Jesus) decide they want to be in the play. They end up taking all of the major parts of the Christmas Story because the rest of the kids were afraid of Herdman reprisals! The result? Well, I won’t ruin it for you if you want to watch it for yourself, but I will say that the “messy and dirty” rendition of Mary and Joseph, the Three Kings and the Angel Gabriel presented by the Herdman kids make the viewer re-think their understanding of what really happened. They remind the on-looker that Mary and Joseph were a lot like refugees: probably scared, with little money. Mary was pregnant and they had no place to go. The only words spoken in the play are by the Angel Gabriel (Herdman-style): “Hey! Hey! Unto you a Child is born!”
As we got ready to go to bed, I thought about God’s Gift to us and the rugged circumstance of Jesus’ birth. It occurred to me how easily our “getting ready” for Christmas can eclipse the blessing of remembering the Gift and giving thanks to the Giver. We may be acquainted with the Story, but if we fail to remember the cosmic impact of that event for all time, then our celebration will be lacking. We celebrate Christmas in remembrance of what God did to save us from ourselves!
- “For God so loved the world that He Gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
- “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise of our redemption.)
Do you want to have a truly memorable Christmas? Then give yourself permission to change your focus from “DOING” to “REMEMBERING WHAT GOD HAS DONE.” (This is not meant to totally rule out the delightful part of preparation, but will serve to enhance what you decide is important to do.) How to begin? A good start would be to start reading some of the Gospel’s (Matthew and Luke in particular) or there are many booklets to help with Advent preparation. Or, open up your Bible like I did last night and read about what God has done for us as we have trusted in His Son. Reading this passage in Galatians 4 blessed me as it reminded me that God’s timing is right and has purpose for all He has made:
- But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” (verses 4-6)
My point in all of this is that remembering what God has done is essential to celebrating a meaningful Christmas. Be blessed Friends as you make time to remember the Gift and the Giver. And for heaven’s sake (literally!) don’t forget to give thanks!
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12, 13