The first Christmas was not easy for the family of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. Away from family and friends, turned away from lodging sorely needed, for Mary was soon to deliver, and exhausted from a long uncomfortable trip with no warm meal awaiting them, their journey ended. They were isolated and alone.
So many people feel isolated, alone, uncomfortable, and hungry for human contact, love, and acceptance.
Maybe we all feel a little like that at Christmas. It is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world; that in itself is daunting. How can the everyday person manage to have a Christmas Day that measures up to the extravagance presented in commercials, magazines, and Christmas novels? We can’t. But do we really want to?
Maybe it’s the Christmas of our childhood memories that block out anything except the joy, surprise, wonder, music, and laughter, that set us up for disappointment. Is it fair to blame it on Santa? Not me! I am one of his biggest believers.
I know the meaning of Christmas Day. I know it isn’t about gifts and cake and baked ham and cake and hot biscuits and cake and green beans and potatoes and cake and red spiced apple rings and cake and ambrosia and cake. It isn’t about the tree all decorated with ornaments and lights and angels and stars. It isn’t about the stockings filled with sweets and nuts.
It’s the celebration of Jesus’ birth. It is the miracle surrounding His conception, the angel messages to Mary and Joseph, the Heavenly Host of angels bringing songs of Good Will and Peace to the lowly shepherds in the field, the star that brought the Wise Men from afar to worship and adore Him. It’s the gift of everlasting life offered to each and every one of us; it’s God’s love for us … so pure and overwhelming.
Lord, help me prepare my mind for a day of celebration, but also of remembrance and thanksgiving. Christmas is a time for Giving Thanks. Christmas is a time for Awe and Wonder. Christmas is a time to appreciate all we do have. Christmas is a time to love, because God first loved us. Amen
Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He was famous for his, ‘The Rest of the Story segments’.
Many of you, I am sure, remember the Christmas story he told, which I share with you now. Enjoy … ‘the rest of the story’.
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