It is that time of year when we are extra busy. Buying presents. Making food to give away. Doing extra in the community. Preparing for family to visit. Decorating our homes.
The workload is tremendous and it seems like there are not enough hours in the day. By night time we are so worn out we can’t wait to get some sleep. And then we wake up and the pressure starts all over.
I may have said this before, but this time of year, I like to ponder Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth. Bethlehem was a busy city. People were there for the census and there wasn’t an empty room anywhere. The women would have been busy cooking extra food. The men, trying to house the extra livestock and provide for them. I can almost hear the noise and see the hurrying and frantic pace throughout the city.
Much like it is for us today.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12 NKJV
Outside the city, are these shepherds with their sheep. They are probably kicking back by the fire, maybe even sleeping. Yet, as shepherds would, they are alert for any change or danger to their flock. They are busy with their work, but still watching. And they see an amazing sight as the angel of the Lord tells them about Jesus and the glory of the Lord shone in the heavens.
“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, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14 NKJV
Because they are alert and watching, they are privy to an amazing concert. A praise and worship time with the angels singing and filling the heavens with their song.
This is where I stop and consider the times. The shepherds were outside the city but not that far away. Here the heavens are lit up with something spectacular. There are angels singing, and it’s a sight that is unparalleled.
Yet, what happens in Bethlehem? No one notices. Not one person. How do we know that?
The shepherds were so amazed, they left their flocks and went to Bethlehem to see the baby. After seeing Jesus with Mary and Joseph, this is what they did:
“Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:17-18 NKJV
Consider this as you go through the Christmas season. Are you like the people in Bethlehem who are blind to the glory of God and His message? Or are you like the shepherds, busy but still alert and watching?
Will you be too busy and miss the reason we celebrate? Will you miss the Christ child or the angels singing in the heavens while you prepare for company and buy gifts?
Or will you be busy like the shepherds? Busy, but also watching. Waiting to hear from God. To see what He has for you this season.
I pray we all will watch for those miracle moments that God gives us. That when the pressure and busyness gets too much, we take time to sit down and connect with Jesus. To see Him. To truly see His love for us. To share Him with those around us.
Have a blessed Christmas.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV