Stephanie reminds us to focus on Jesus this Christmas Day. This is the final installment in Stephanie’s series entitled “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Read Part 1 here.
Christmas Day 2015
It’s here! Christmas 2015. Whether you’re spending time with family and friends, celebrating on your own, or have never celebrated the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer for you is that you will draw near to Him. For when you do, God’s Word promises in James 4:8 that He will draw near to you. Think of it: The Lord of all creation, the Saviour and Redeemer, the Alpha and Omega will come close. That is more amazing than anything that will happen today or any other day of your life.
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. … And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary … who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. … the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
The Scriptures Should Never Be Lost
Is this new to you? Amazing, isn’t it?
If it’s familiar, you may be tempted to skim over it. After all, you may be able to recite it by heart. But stop! Go back and read it again, this time slowly, prayerfully. The wonder of this portion of the Scriptures should never be lost on us. And in the proverbial—and literal—hustle and bustle of the season, it can be.
This isn’t just a nice story. It’s the pivotal story in all of history, a story that actually includes the substitutionary death and resurrection of this same Jesus who entered the world not to pomp and fanfare but to humble circumstances.
Focus On The Saviour
How can you focus on the Saviour today in the midst of all the busyness?
You can listen to this devotional as a family or simply read this portion of scripture together.
You can discuss how this story still impacts people over 2,000 years after it happened. Who would have expected a baby born in a tiny Judean village, a baby who was laid in a manger, a baby greeted not by religious leaders and dignitaries but humble shepherds, would still be celebrated around the globe?
You may want to have Christmas music playing in the background, music that speaks of the Saviour’s birth rather than Santa Claus and reindeer.
Some families share a Happy Birthday, Jesus cake to remind them what the day is all about. You may want to do so as well.
Talking About Christmas
When talking about the Christmas story, you may want to emphasize that the angels didn’t appear to everyone. They appeared to shepherds, those who were considered inferior by many in positions of leadership and authority. Those shepherds obeyed the angel’s message and went to see the newborn baby. And then something happened that many of us don’t often think about. They went out and made Him known. They told others what they had seen. And that’s what we’re supposed to do too. After we come to saving faith, we are to share the wonder with those we encounter.
Of course, you will want to be sensitive to those gathered, but focusing on that first Christmas for even a short time can make an eternal difference in someone’s life. Perhaps this will be the year an unbelieving friend or family member comes to saving faith—and what a Christmas present that would be!
At bedtime, instead of—or as well as—asking your children what they enjoyed about the day, what gift they are most excited about, why not ask them what they enjoy most—or find the most challenging—about the Christmas story?
Whatever you do, I pray that today will be a day overflowing with abundant blessings, a day when you draw close to God and He draws close to you. Will you welcome the Saviour today—and every day?
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Images courtesy of:
Nativity – Debbie Schiel
Christmas Tree – G Schouten de Jel