LET’S COUNT DOWN, CALM DOWN AND CONSIDER JESUS

Today is Christmas Eve. I hope and pray that all of us are done with all of our preparing, planning, shopping and rushing around now. It’s time now to let Christmas be Christmas – deeply, completely and truly.

Consider Jesus. Consciously and gratefully choosing to let Jesus be the full focus of our minds and hearts now. Consciously and purposefully inviting Jesus, the Holy Child of God, to be born fully into each of our lives.

Just as newborn babies are surrounded with adoring love and attention by those who are intimately connected to them, so it is time for each of us to fully turn our love and attention to Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, our Deliverer, our Messiah and Savior whose birth we celebrate.

Consider Jesus. Consider the interrupting, intervening birth announcement about Jesus the angel gave to the shepherds in the field – the Messiah, the Lord, has been born! Good news of great joy! Consider the interrupting, intervening, sky-filling group of heavenly host who joined the angel to give glory and praise to God, declaring peace to those on whom God’s favor rests!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Consider Jesus. Consider the terrified, humbled, immediate response of the shepherds to the interrupting, intervening, human history-changing message they received from the angels!

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, and which were just as they had been told. – Luke 2:8-20

The shepherds responded immediately by turning their full focus and attention on being in the presence of the Holy One! But they didn’t stop there! They interrupted and intervened in the lives of all who would listen to them, telling others all they had heard and seen. The Messiah, the Lord, has been born! Good news of great joy!

The count down to Christmas is done. It’s time to fully celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Messiah and Lord! Celebrating all that this means in every season of our lives – and for all eternity!