Happy Christmas Eve! I imagine most of you are busy with last-minute gift wrapping and cooking. In the midst of your day, I hope you have a moment to sit down with a cup of something steamy and read the post today by my new friend Melanie from Only a Breath.
It’s one of those messages my soul needs to hear again and again. God the Son, intentionally came to earth in humility and simplicity. As Jesus took on human flesh, His life was free from the entanglements of pleasing people or man-made traditions. He sought to love and serve His heavenly Father with abandon. It’s really that simple for us too. But we sure do make things complicated.
I hope you enjoy this post by Melanie. I’m pretty sure you will.
Here’s Melanie …
Am I the only one who thinks we make Christmas more complicated than it should be? Yesterday, I was wandering aimlessly through a crowded department store, trying to run through my mental shopping list for Christmas, being bumped around by shoppers — all while “Silent Night, Holy Night” was blaring out over the loud speakers.
…all is calm, all is bright…
I had to laugh.
Yes, I’m the laughing lunatic in aisle 5. Someone may need to send assistance.
I couldn’t help but think back to the first Christmas, when the night actually was calm and bright. I can imagine the shepherds going about their normal routines in the fields, never expecting to be the first to witness the miracle that would forever change the world.
They were living the lives of the ordinary, just being faithful to the job they had been given. Sound familiar?
Suddenly, an angel appeared to the shepherds, and they were terrified. This angel caught everyone’s attention, and I would guess even the sheep were standing in formation with listening ears.
The promised Messiah had come! What joy must have filled their hearts! After years of waiting, the Promised One had finally come to redeem His people.
But what was that last part?
Do you ever wonder if the shepherds glanced at one another to make sure they heard that last part correctly? A manger? For the Messiah?
… a simple birth, in a simple barn, announced to simple shepherds …
It appears that God cherishes the simple. When we feel tempted to make Christmas “bigger and better,” perhaps we should remember that first Christmas night.
After the shepherds heard the angels’ message, they ran to see the new baby. They found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby in the manger, just as the angels had said. Following their visit, the shepherds returned to their flocks, sharing the Good News with everyone who would listen. Their lives had been forever changed by the encounter with Jesus that night.
So where does that leave us, in the chaos of present-day Christmas?
Christmas time is here, and I will celebrate each moment. However, in the chaos of the season, I challenge you to claim time to seek out The Gift. Take some time to just stand outside and gaze up at the stars, remembering the night when angels announced His birth. Read Luke chapter 2 with your family, and start a new tradition of embracing the awe of that night. Perhaps each member of the family could share how they would have felt if they were one of the shepherds.
Whatever you do, keep your heart focused on Christ. Then, just as the shepherds went back to their flocks with a new hope in their hearts, we can go back to our “ordinary” after Christmas has passed this year, and share the way God’s Gift has changed our hearts.
Immanuel, God with Us.
Melanie, thank you for turning our hearts toward that first “silent night.” And for the invitation to go back to ordinary in a few days with the mist of a midnight pasture in our minds.
As a special gift to everyone, Melanie has created several things you are going to love. So that everyone can “win” something, Melanie has created a one-year weekly Bible reading plan, plus some beautiful book marks. She recommends printing this on heavier card stock and laminating if possible. To access these gifts, click here.
Melanie is a Christ follower, southern belle, and working mom. She writes at “Only a Breath” where she provides encouragement, devotions, giveaways, and more! Her heart’s desire is to share the hope of life in Christ and the joy of His unfailing love.
Thanks to everyone who entered a comment on Friday and Saturday’s posts. Just so you know, I use a random number generator so everyone has an equal chance.
The winner of Friday’s giveaway (Rachel Olsen’s book “My One Word”) is:
- Jennifer who posted at 2012/12/21 at 7:00 am
The winner of Saturday’s giveaway (Karen Ehman’s $15 P31 gift certificate) is:
- Gloria who posted at 2012/12/22 at 5:43 am
I’ve sent you both emails!