Luke 2:41-42 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the FEAST OF THE PASSOVER. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.
Each family has its own traditions. And for the Christian family, Christmas is a time to make those traditions shine out and for the memories that remain last a lifetime. The memories of my Christmases back in Africa where I grew up are priceless for me. Apart from new clothes and shoes to go with the Christmas feasting, I remember particularly the labor of love that went into decorating the Christmas tree. Of course, those days…the shops were less stocked with different varieties of decors for the trees. So our Christmas tree was very much HOMEMADE; some colored and shiny ribbons, some balloons and some white cotton wool was the best we could do to dress up our tree. And no…there was no Santa Claus to deliver some well-wrapped gifts through the chimney because, we had no chimney anyway! Continue reading
Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds LIVING out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flock at night.
We are in the Christmas month. And Yes, lots of activities are going on; a long list of to-do, to buy, to give, to eat, to say and the silent hope that this Christmas will be one of your best-ever. And although you don’t put it in words, you pray the magic of Christmas will endure long enough into the next year and keep you through to the next one.
But for you as a Christian, Christmas is meant to be much more than just a magical time at the end of each year. With the beautiful Christmas decors everywhere, gifts, kind smiles, Christmas carols and whatever else Christmas related, these are simply the extras, the RESIDUE that comes along with the Christmas package, that is the baby in a manger. While, it is good and right to create the prefect atmosphere for Christmas celebrations, the point can be easily missed. You should always remember when the CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS was born 2000 years ago, his world too was busy and preoccupied to notice his birth let alone rejoice. In any case, a consensus was more urgent then, so they missed the most important moment in the history of mankind: THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
However, thankfully, there were a few shepherds LIVING OUT their lives as normal…yes, tending their flocks day and night as they always did. The CENSUS had not preoccupied their time nor lives: their hearts were right, their ears were alert, their mouths were ready and their hands were open and when Christmas first happened, they were the first to know. You see, they did not go looking out for Christmas but rather Christmas came out looking for them. And that was the HIGHLIGHT of their shepherd year, one which they lived to tell many and generations which includes YOU and ME.
The question goes out to you. Are you looking for the magic (RESIDUE) of CHRISTMAS or will you let the Christ (HIGHLIGHT) of CHRISTMAS come looking out for you?