Each year we look forward to this day with baited breath and intense anticipation. Hopefully you day was filled with fantastic memories, festive fun and great family moments. However, sometimes in spite of all the build up, Christmas Day can pass far to quickly.
We can all remember the agony of waiting for the arrival of Christmas as a child. My experience, was that the days prior to Christmas crept by with painful lethargy. We would surrender to sleep on the 24th each year, and awaken to an almost euphoric excitement. Then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the day was done and the dread of waiting another 364 days began to set in. The busyness of Christmas Day often made it tough to simply enjoy the moment.
The very first Christmas was a busy time as well. In fact, the city Jesus was born in was unusually crowded that day. Bethlehem, normally a small, nondescript town outside of the major city of Jerusalem was crammed with people due to the Roman census that required everyone to return to their ancestral hometown. It was so full that day, that there was no vacancy in any of the normal places to stay. We can assume that just as the inns were full, so too were the restaurants, streets, taverns and markets. Everyone, busily hurrying from place to place trying to find a place to stay, buy a meal and shop for things they might have forgotten to bring with them on their journey.
Amidst all the busyness, a baby was born, in a stable behind an overcrowded inn. We read this familiar account in Luke 2:7, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Anyone stopping by to drop off their donkey for the night wouldn’t have taken the time to stop and chat, quickly hurrying off to carry out their business. And yet, in that stable, the fulcrum upon which all of history balances, was being born. In that stable the one who would have the greatest impact on the life of every human being for the rest of history, was conceived.
My hope and prayer for each of us this year, is that in the midst of the busyness of today, you would find peace as you reflect on your relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we celebrate his birth today and reflect on the profound impact of his arrival over two millennia ago, let us not allow the busyness of the festivities steal from us the time to reflect and express our gratitude for Jesus’ willingness to wrap himself in humanity. Let us not forget that all of this came to pass in order to bring us a true and lasting peace.
It is because of Jesus birth 2000 years ago that we can find peace!