Read 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."
What other people meet Jesus in these verses and how do they respond? In what ways is Jesus "rejected by many" during the Christmas season?
It's kind of ironic to be standing in line at a toy store with two dozen other people elbowing each other out of the way while trying to hold onto innumerable bags from other stores and all the while over the store's speakers some crooner cheerfully declares, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"
"It's the most stressful time of the year," might be more accurate. But did you know that the craziness and crowdedness of the holiday season is one of Christmas' oldest traditions? "She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn" (Luke 2:7, NLT). Even before He was born, Christ was being squeezed out of Christmas.
"Peace on earth, and goodwill toward men" sounds like a good idea. But anymore it's about the last thing we can expect in the weeks leading up to December 25. But is it possible? Is it possible to experience peace and goodwill during the hectic holidays? It is if we don't get distracted.
If you want to bring peace back to your Christmas, keep your eyes on the Prince of Peace--that's a name that was given to Jesus long before He was born. And that's what Simeon experienced when he first saw Jesus. Even though Jesus was only eight days old, Simeon knew that this baby was the was the promised Savior. In his joy he declared, "Lord, now I can die in peace!" (Luke 2:29).
The peace that can calm the fears of death can surely ease the stress of the holidays. But like Simeon, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus--now more than ever. Make sure you take some time in the next few days to reacquaint yourself with the Christmas story. Take some time to stop everything else (there's time in your schedule if you look) and pick up the Bible and read Luke 2 and the story of Jesus' birth. Allow the Prince of Peace to work in your life this holiday season.
Lord Jesus, thank You for a way to escape the stress and frustration that comes with the Christmas season. Please focus my eyes on Christ and the reason You came to earth in the first place--to forgive our sins and offer the possibility of having a relationship with God. Amen.