It’s the week before the birth of Christ and life is the same. Merchants peddle their goods. Women sweep the floors of their homes and prepare meals. Priests serve in the temple. Shepherds watch over their flocks. Nothing seems unusual. No whispering winds or notes delivered to doors to alert the Israelites. Daily life continues to revolve, unaware the long-awaited Messiah’s appearance approaches.
It’s the week after the birth of Christ and most remains the same. Women travel to the well for water. Farmers work in the fields. A few shepherds reside in awe of the announcement from their late night visitors. A man and woman are transformed by the birth of a baby as they journey home.
For us it is the week before Christmas. We are in the midst of the hustle and bustle the holiday brings. This season involves extra pressure added to an already exploding schedule. We focus on wrapping, cooking, decorating, and finishing projects at work so much that the coming celebration often remains obscured by the tasks. Our emotions run rampant as we attend Christmas programs, wait in extra-long lines, and attempt to make our money stretch a hundredfold. The flurry overshadows the joy and anticipation.
The week after Christmas are we the same? When we’ve cleaned up all the torn wrapping paper and packed away the ornaments, is something different? Did the true meaning of Christmas penetrate our hearts? Did we absentmindedly sing or truly worship our Savior?
My favorite Christmas song is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” It echoes the magnitude of that night. Do you see the star dancing in the night? Do you hear the song that echoes throughout the land? It proclaims that tonight everything has changed.
Do you see? Do you hear? Do you know? I am no longer the same because God journeyed to earth to rescue me. He cried in the night and love enveloped us with each new breath. Everything we need was wrapped in those swaddling cloths: a warrior, counselor, friend, peace giver, comforter, protector, provider, and defender.
As you prepare for this holiday, reserve a bit of space to let your heart reside in silence to hear the song of our Savior. Allow your spirit to soar in celebration of his devotion to you. Still your mind to encapsulate what the birth of Christ truly signifies.
Don’t leave Christmas the same way you entered it.