In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth, peace among those whom he favors!” Luke 2: 8-14
Christmas is coming! Have you heard the news that Christmas is coming? Of course you have. You probably first heard the news right before Halloween when some of our area stores started putting up Christmas decorations for sale. I was walking through a store when I saw it all. I was shocked! Really, I was! I’ve never seen it promoted so early. Not only has it been thrown at us before Thanksgiving but now even before the end of October??? It seemed to be a giant rush job. It wasn’t about Christmas. It was all about sales. It was all about who could be the first one to get the lights and artificial trees up for the early birds to swoop in and buy. And as I stood and looked at all of the lights and glitter and plastic trees I felt sad. I did. It felt wrong. I felt like something was out of place. I know that Christmas is a large commercial promotion and that manufacturers are pushing for us to buy, buy, buy!!! But… can we just take a step back for a moment? Can we as Jesus followers take a moment and think about what this is all about? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give gifts to those that we love and care for. It’s a great tradition that draws people together and blesses the giver and the receiver of the gift.
Like the shepherds in the fields on that first Christmas night are we in awe of what we are seeing and celebrating? Are we celebrating the birth of the Messiah or are we celebrating another holiday that rushes us to the point of exhaustion to be ready to buy and buy and buy some more? Have we become a people who are numb to the coming of the Anointed One? Let this Christmas be the one where we become focused on the birth of a Savior and let all else fade into the background as we worship the very one who was born so that we might live. Let us worship the Son of God, born of a virgin, in a manger in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. May God bless you as you come into his presence with worship and praise.
In Christ, Pastor Joe