“It seems like the holidays just passed us by!”
Have you ever thought that? Have you ever awakened on Dec. 26 and wondered what happened to “the most wonderful time of the year”?
Life can be hectic all year long, but December is possibly one of the most challenging months of all.
We have shopping to do.
We have parties to attend.
We have travel to plan.
We have decorating to finish.
We get overwhelmed. We give our attention to the wrong things. We forget what’s important.
When I find myself becoming stressed and distracted during the holidays, I always think about the innkeeper in the Christmas story. We don’t know his name, but we know what he missed.
He heard a knock at his door. It had been a busy night—so many travelers to tend to! His inn was completely full, and suddenly he met this small family, a man and his young wife. She was clearly on the verge of having her baby.
For a brief moment, incredible blessing and joy stood right there at his threshold. Christmas arrived in his life that night.
But he wasn’t ready.
The innkeeper had no time to prepare…and so he missed it. He was so busy, so distracted, that he missed the birth of Jesus. He sent Mary and Joseph to a nearby stable rather than inviting them into his life.
Something glorious and wonderful passed him by.
Now, contrast the innkeeper with the shepherds and the wise men, two other groups of participants in the Christmas story.
What was the difference between them and the innkeeper?
The answer is found in their focus: both the shepherds and wise men were seeking God. Out in the field, the shepherds saw and heard the angelic proclamations, and were quick to obey. They listened and took action.
The Wise Men also took action, following the “star in the East” in hopes that it might lead them to the newborn King of the Jews. They planned to worship Him.
Neither group let their responsibilities or worries prevent them from experiencing what God had in store.
Rather than mindlessly going about their business, they listened. They obeyed. They searched for Jesus, and they found Him.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you’ll be more like the shepherds or Wise Men, and less like the innkeeper. Don’t let your obligations and the holiday urgency frazzle you so much that you miss Christmas.
As a couple, you can decide now to make Christ a priority this Christmas. There’s a blessing waiting on your doorstep.
It’s Christ the King! Will you miss Him…or will you invite Him in?
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today