"Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him"-- and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds."
Do you have time to hear Him this Christmas?
Christmas is known to be one of the busiest times of the year. We have to take time to fight traffic and crowds to buy a gift for each of our family members and maybe for the office party gift exchange. We go to various holiday parties, bake cookies, wrap presents, decorate our house, etc. Then we all have our favorite Christmas movies that we have to watch for it to be Christmas season. If we live in a place where it snows we have to spend time shoveling and icing the sidewalks so it's safe for our family. By the end of it all many of us end up exhausted. But did we ever take time to listen, to hear Him?
The cliche saying that we always see posted by Christian business owners and on 'religious' Christmas cards is, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" It's easy to say or write that but have we taken time to reflect on what it really means? Have we taken time to teach our family what it really means?
What does it mean to have Jesus as the reason for the season?
When we really take time to reflect on this we realize that reminding ourselves that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday still isn't really sufficient. What is it about Jesus' birthday that makes it significant enough to have such an elaborate celebration so many years later? My favorite scripture, that I feel really embodies the reason for celebrating Christmas, is Isaiah 9:6-7:
"For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given;
and the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to order it and establish it with judgement and justice
from that time forward, even for ever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this."
Christmas is more than presents, decorations, Christmas cookies, and a "spirit of giving". Christmas is also about more than just celebrating a baby who was born in a manger more than 2000 years ago. Christmas is about the beginning of a revolution, an overthrow of earthly kingdoms and order, and an establishment of a new kingdom, a monarchy where Christ is the King of kings.
Christmas is one of the most internationally recognized holidays. It is a time in which we can forget our national borders and we can simply wish a Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, or Melkam Genna to whoever we meet wherever we find ourselves during the Christmas season. At most, for the Christians in all countries, it may be celebrated a couple weeks later but it is still celebrated. This is because we are celebrating something beyond national borders, beyond earthly governments. We are celebrating a kingdom greater than any other kingdom ever to exist on this earth, and we are celebrating the fact that, because Jesus was born as a baby in a manger 2000 years ago, we are able to be citizens of that kingdom forevermore.
Take some time today to be silent before God and allow Him to remind you of what it means to be a citizen of His kingdom!