It’s Christmas Eve, and I am pretty excited about Christmas this year. This is my first Christmas being married, and we have decorations up around the house. For the first Christmas since leaving my parents’ house for college, it feels like I am at home. It is really cool to have a tree decorated and stockings hanging over the fire place. I’m not usually one for decorations, but I really like the way our house looks and feels. I am excited about starting my own Christmas traditions. For the first time in my life, people will be coming to my house for Christmas day. I’ve always enjoyed Christmas, but this year I am starting to enjoy it even more.
Every year we around this time we always hear, “Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season.” We are encouraged to remember that we are really to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. While I think this is a good reminder, I think even it has lost its value. I think that we can get so caught up in the “reason for the season” mindset, that we lose sight of the magic of the Christmas story. This December I have been reading through a devotional that really picks apart the Christmas story in the Bible. At first I started doing it because it seemed like it would be a good thing to do and I wanted something to help guide my quiet times; however, as I got into it God really started changing my heart.
The Christmas story is so much more than just a story about our Savior’s birth. It is an incredible story of faith, struggle, wonder, joy, and so much more. Mary had an angel come to her and tell her she would give birth to the Son of God all while remaining a virgin. Her response was, “Behold, thebondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 NASB). Mary knew she had a choice, but she chose to trust and obey the Lord. Joseph is engaged to Mary and she tells him that she is pregnant but it is not by another man. I can’t even imagine what I would think if when I was engaged Angela came and said that to me. My response would have probably been similar to Joseph’s, to break off the engagement. I’m sure Joseph was confused, hurt, angry, and upset, to say the least. Yet he had a dream in which an angel told him that Mary is telling him the truth and that he should marry her and they would raise the Son of God together, and he decided to trust God and go through with the marriage. Joseph and Mary’s faith in God is so incredible.
Then there were the shepherds who were chilling in a field watching their sheep when all the sudden a ton of angels appeared before them. They were scared out of their minds at first, but when the angels told them that the Savior had been born they dropped everything and went to see Him. They were so struck by awe and wonder that they had to go see Jesus. But those feelings didn’t stop when they saw Him. Luke 2:17 says, “After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.” They were so amazed that they couldn’t keep their mouths shut.
This Christmas I’d encourage you to not miss out on the wonder of the Christmas story. Don’t just remember Jesus is the reason, allow yourself to be wrapped up in the awesomeness of the story of faith, love, and sacrifice. Be like the Grinch and allow your heart to be renewed this Christmas! Let’s join in with all the angels in singing, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14, NLT).
until next time…