Friday, December 22, 2006

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (Luke 2:8-11, NLT)

I'm sitting in my sister-in-law's old bedroom at my mother-in-law's house. For the first time ever, I believe, I've managed to get my shopping done before the day before Christmas. I have a few items that need to be wrapped when I get home, but it shouldn't be like years past where I've stayed up till 4am wrapping presents. I did the youth Christmas party on Wednesday, so that's out of the way. For the most part, it seems like things are pretty calm at the moment. We'll do our Christmas with Wife's family tomorrow, enjoy a nice meal out tomorrow night, stay for a bit on Sunday, and drive home sometime that day.

Amidst it all, sadly, I become burdened and stressed with this season. I want to enjoy Christmas. I really do. But so much is going on and there are so many demands that make it difficult to enjoy this time of year. Christmas has become so much different than what it should be.

I wish I could be there 2005 years ago. Luke's gospel shares with us what happened then. The Shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks, and the angel comes to them, and brings to them the Good News -- that the promised Messiah has been born! I can only imagine how their hearts were filled with joy at this incredible proclamation! For so many years the Messiah that would deliver Israel had been promised, and that day had come!

My favorite song at Christmas is "The Little Drummer Boy". To me, it symbolizes what Christmas should be. It has nothing to do with fancy gifts. It has nothing to do with shopping malls. It has nothing to do with family and friends, even. What it has to do with is humbling ourselves before Christ and bringing to him everything we have.

Little Baby, I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring, that's fit to give a King.
Shall I play for Him? On my drum?

That's probably the most beautiful line of the whole song. The little drummer boy recognizes that he has nothing fit to give his King, but gives him everything he has. It's like the widow and her 2 mites. She didn't have much, but she gave all she had to give to God.

This Christmas, I want to really remember what the holiday is about. I want a sense of renewal where I desire nothing more than to just lay my life before Christ, presenting to Him all I have, recognizing that no matter how much I have, none of it is fit to give my King.

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