When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.” So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding box. Luke 2:15-16
How do you spend Christmas?
When I was in high school a friend invited me to spend the evening with his family at Christmas. He shared with me before I came that they celebrated Christmas differently, they did not give presents. I was thinking, “how can this be Christmas?” Wasn’t this what Christmas was all about? He said they gave to each other all throughout the year but at Christmas they gathered all the family together and did things a little different.
As I entered the house there were no fancy decorations, just a large table spread with food in the dining room. The whole family gathered and sat together for a grand meal. When dinner was done we all retired to the living room where all attention was drawn to a small table sat at the end of the room. The light in the room was low and on the table sat a book, a bell and a candle which illuminate the table. The family gathered around and the reading began. Each member read a short portion of the Christmas story punctuated by the ringing of the bell which stretched out with a mounting anticipation as we approached the birth of Jesus.
The shepherds that night received great news and with anticipation left as quickly as they could to go and see what the angel has told them. They ran with haste to where Mary and the child were and found them on that first Christmas in a stable where animals lay. The child was wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding box. There was no tree, no garland, no fussing over presents, and no lights other than the one the Father had hung in the sky that shone down like a spot light over this humble Christmas scene. On that night there was no question what Christmas was all about.
We are easily distracted by many things at Christmas and lose sight of what it is really all about. This year take time to remember what Christmas is about and what it is not. Be creative in how you celebrate. Like the shepherds, take the time to gather together, seek the Christ child, glorify and praise God telling others about what you have found.
Suggested Longer Reading: Luke 2:15-20
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