Its that time of year again! It’s Christmastime!
There are so many special things about Christmas that I look forward to each year! Things that truly only happen at Christmas. Things like attending the courthouse lighting in Prescott. Driving through light displays, and neighborhoods to see Christmas decorations, having a Baking Day with my adult daughters, and wearing fancy clothes to church on Christmas eve.
I love the glow coming from the lights on my Christmas tree early in the morning. And I love Christmas music!
But mostly I love how Christmastime is special and different from every other month of the year!
And though the world does not always recognize the true meaning of Christmas, those of us that know Jesus do, and it is a beautiful time to reflect and celebrate The Savior!
This year though, this year is certainly different than all the years prior. This year we could easily get lost in how different things are for us. We could dwell on the fact that the usual celebrations we enjoy may not be happening. We could focus on how even our family gatherings are different. Or we may become lost in the hustle and bustle of preparations. But the choice is ours.
How we celebrate this Christmas may look and even feel different, but “different” is how Christmas got started in the first place isn’t it?
Mary and Joseph certainly did not plan for the circumstances that God chose for them. Their lives were vastly different than what they had imagined.
An angel announced to Mary that she would bear a child as a virgin. Different.
The shepherds saw a host of angels fill the sky and proclaim to them that the Savior, the One they had been waiting for, had been born in Bethlehem. Different.
The Kings from the East followed a star on a journey that led them to the Christ child. Different.
When things are different and new, it awakens our senses and even our souls, to a fresh perspective. Otherwise we may just go through the motions of life without fresh joy and excitement!
So, while Christmas 2020 looks and feels quite different, we can rest in the fact that God never changes. His plans and purposes cannot be upset. He is still at work and He will never leave us. In fact, it is when things are different, that God comes to meet us. He uses times of “different” to challenge us and make us more aware of His presence.
Just like with Mary and Joseph.
After the baby was born, and the shepherds came in from the fields, scripture says in Luke 2:19 says that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” That sounds like the wonder of Christmas to me.
Maybe this year we let “different” be a catalyst of change for us. Maybe we revisit what Christmas is truly about in the first place. Maybe this shift in our normal practices at Christmas can turn out to be a beautiful time of remembering why we do what we do.
We need to remember that different brings change for us, and change brought Jesus, and Jesus is the true reason for Christmas! And different can be beautiful too!
And because that first Christmas was so different, you and I can have a relationship with Jesus, the savior of the world.
The Wonderful Counselor.
The Mighty God.
The Prince of Peace.
The Everlasting One.
Mary wrapped her newborn baby in swaddling cloths because of the gift He was. We wrap up the items we purchase at Christmas in pretty paper because they too are gifts. And as we wrap up 2020, and consider all the different and challenging things the year held, maybe it has been a gift too.
Gifts under the tree are fun, as they are given and received from a place of love. But the best gift isn’t the one under your tree. It’s the one right under your nose.