It’s December!! Yah – What a JOYOUS season it is!
I love this time of the year as the inside and outside of our house gets transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
Some of my favorite memories involve putting up the Christmas tree, reminiscing about each ornaments history and story.
There is something so special and beautiful about this time of the year.
And yet, this beauty that brings us such joy, can equally bring us such stress and pain.
Whether it be finding the perfect present, decorating the house, gathering with family members who rub you the wrong way, fitting in concerts and holiday gatherings, or simply remembering loved ones who have gone home, there is no doubt that this time of the year can present itself with feelings of pain, stress, overwhelm, and exhaustion.
When our hearts are focused on the pain and stress of it all, it gets really hard to remember why we celebrate Christmas.
In years past I have found myself in such a whirlwind that it is not until Christmas Eve that I sit long enough to breathe and remember why I’m celebrating.
By then I’m so frazzled from the preparation leading up to that moment, that I was too tired to even put my full heart into the season.
But not this year!
Unlike years past, this Christmas I am determined to keep the reason for the season in the forefront of my mind – e v e r y. s i n g l e. d a y. And, I’m bringing you along for the ride!
This is the year that we stress less, we rest more, and we pause and breathe in God’s amazing gift to us – the gift of Jesus.
I can think of no better way than to start the month reading through key verses of Luke 1-2, the first of two Christmas stories in the Bible.
The Christmas Story
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man who name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!'” (Luke 1: 26-28).
“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1: 30-33).
The story continues in Luke 2….
“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, his betrothed, 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” (Luke 2: 4-7).
“And in the same region there we’re 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” (Luke 2: 8-12).
“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!'” (Luke 2: 13-14).
Dear friend, I don’t know what you are facing today and I don’t know how the season of Christmas resonates with you. For many who have lost loved ones, this season can bring with it a lot of pain. For those perfectionist like myself, this season can bring with it a lot of stress and exhaustion.
I pray from the bottom of my heart that this Christmas story will help heal and prepare your heart for this season.
When you find yourself overwhelmed and hurting, turn your focus upward, asking God for strength. Then turn your eyes on His words and read, over and over again, this most joyous story.
It is for the gift of Jesus – our Savior – that we celebrate this Christmas.
Praying you through,