The Christmas story is crammed full of various themes. One is gift giving, as in the wise men. We seem to get that theme pretty well. But we often overlook a couple that can be very fulfilling. One is something we see Mary doing several times: meditating on what is being heard and seen. She “treasures” and “meditates” on what the shepherds share in Luke 2:19. Later in the same chapter (v.51) she keeps “all these things in her heart” as they return to their home in Nazareth after a trip to Jerusalem during Jesus’ childhood. We live in a fast-paced, noise filled world, something many of us, me included, thrive on. But there is a depth of perception and a fullness of perspective that we can only get when we stop and reflect. The post-Christmas/pre-New Year’s season affords many of us a time to slow down. I think we would be wise to use it to begin the habit of stopping and thinking.
Another theme is “telling”. Over and over again in the Christmas story folks are bursting at the seams to tell about what they have encountered in the Christ-child. The shepherds are exhibit A, but it isn’t limited to them. Our story of meeting the Christ-child is also a story that needs to be told. Be bold this Christmas, and tell people about your faith in Christ. Invite them as well to join you for a Christmas Eve Weekend service (23rd at 4 PM, 24th at 9 AM and 4 PM). Survey after survey reveals that people are open to being invited to attend a church that their friends are excited about. Join in the chorus of the ages and tell the story. I wouldn’t be surprised if something cool happened because you did.
But my ultimate prayer is that each of us will be blown away and blessed by the biggest theme of Christmas…that God loves us sinners, and in the Savior born in Bethlehem, all of us can be included by faith in His eternal story.