We are completely in the swing of another Christmas season. The parking lots at the malls and shopping centers are full, where we often find many short tempers flaring up as people are frantically looking for an open parking spot. Christmas decorations are hanging up in stores and on many homes throughout our city. We’ve already gone through another Black Friday as well as another Cyber Monday and from what I hear we broke many records. Christmas carols are being heard played in just about every store and mall we go to. I found a store the other day which was having a clearance sale on Christmas lights, wow!! If we are not careful, and which I find myself often guilty of, we will soon discover Christmas has quickly slipped past us and we failed to enjoy it.
In Luke 2 we find the account of the birth of Jesus and discover we are not so far from that setting today. A decree had gone out that everyone had to go to their home town to register. This brought so much commotion and flared tempers (sound familiar) that even the inns were full, nothing was left vacant. Here is where the first Christmas story begins.
Mary was about to give birth and because all the rooms had been taken, they found shelter in a manger, a feeding trough for horses, where the birth of our Lord took place. While this great birth took place, there some unnamed shepherds who were living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their sheep. A manger, horse feeding trough, and some shepherds out in the fields keeping watch over their sheep and in this setting we find the first Christmas.
Christmas is the most favorite season for me but not because I remember getting so many gifts, as I came from a what some may call a poor family. What I hold fondly in my heart about Christmas are all the many wonderful memories of my family coming together, eating and singing songs and just being together. We had real Christmas trees back then to decorate but they were ones my father paid about $5-7 dollars for. Our Christmas decorations consisted pretty much of some string lights on the Christmas tree and some Christmas ornaments. We would spray some fake snow on our windows to get that Christmas effect and hang tinsel on our Christmas tree. I remember often sitting in the front room all by myself, while everyone else was busy doing stuff and just watching the beautiful lights on the tree shine.
Back at the first Christmas, while the world was busy doing stuff, the Savior of the world was born for all the world, Christ the Lord and sad;y so many missed it. Is it any different today? Shopping, buying, looking for the best deals, driving up and down parking lots in search for an open space, fighting crowds in the shopping malls and sadly so much more is not what I believe Christmas was meant to be.
Every year I say to my wife; I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the Christmas decorations she worked so hard to put up or even the Christmas season and she always responds by saying, That was a choice I made. Sometimes just sitting down and quietly mediating on what Christmas is truly about, the birth of Christ the Lord, is better than any gift we could ever receive.
Slow down my dear friend this Christmas season and enjoy why we celebrate Christmas. Our Savior came into this world to die for our sins out of His love for you and me. Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad to everyone!!!
Categories: A Pastor's Blog