In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1-7 NIV
This is the beginning of a wonderful story — a story of the greatest gift ever given to us. This is the beginning of our salvation. Jesus Christ was born so that the world would be saved. Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem and what would come next was good news of great joy — to us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!
Nowhere in that story, does it mention the busyness of Christmas as we know it. It’s easy for us to get distracted by holiday shopping, planning and preparing meals, attending parties, wrapping gifts, decorating trees, visiting loved ones, baking cookies and even more shopping. You do all these things to make Christmas special for the ones you love. And all these things are wonderful. However, with so much going on, the thing that can easily be lost is the most important.
Think about this: what would happen if you give up some of the busyness in your holiday season? Remember the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)? Martha wanted Jesus’ visit to be perfect. She was busy with her tasks while Mary chose to sit at His feet and learn from Him. She asked Jesus to tell Mary to get busy, but He responded that what Mary was doing was far more important. Focus on spending time with God, reading the Word and remembering the meaning of Christmas and the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What if by immersing yourself in the good news, your life becomes a living testimony of Christ’s love and the gift of His birth? What if one of your friends or family comes to have a personal relationship with Christ because you slowed down enough to share that good news? How wonderful it would be for those needing to hear the gospel!
Christmas is a perfect time to share the joy of our Savior. But if we are too bogged down with Christmas “tasks”, to enjoy Him ourselves, we might be joyless messengers. Take time to slow down, listen to God, rest in Him and allow Him to show you ways to minister to the needs of those around you.
Father, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, help us rediscover the joy of our salvation. We pray for all who are lost and in need of salvation. Show us opportunities to share the beauty of the gospel with those around us.
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