And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”.
Thought for the Day: Calm down and remember the Reason for the Christmas Season is Jesus Christ.
What fun! What remarkable fun! I was asked to take the Christmas Photograph of the Church Staff. Working with the Director of Communications to come up with the “look” for the photograph was awesome. The staff members trickled into the Worship Center chatting about the day and about how prepared they were for the coming weeks. They teased and cut up about the colors of green and red worn as everyone was asked to wear green or red. The Director of Communications and I worked together beforehand to work on lighting and camera settings so we were ready for the pose to happen. I watched as she moved the twenty-five or so people into place and worked on making the “special effects” work perfectly. My fun came in taking pictures as these awesome friends interacted with each other as they waited for her to get everyone into place. The pastors laughed together creating a wonderful and positive atmosphere for the others on staff. The Worship and Tech people joked and were downright silly as they took the props and created funny poses. The final people were put into place and the true photographs took place. When I took the pictures, I could feel they were going to be good because of the smiles and delightful attitude of each person there. As I looked at the images on my computer later, I knew immediately the photograph that would be used. Each person probably had in the back of their minds their “list” of things that needed to be done in the coming Christmas Week. Some stood in place knowing their children were at work with them because they were ill, or they themselves were not feeling well. All thoughts were put aside for that moment, that precious moment, when the perfect picture was taken.
Christmas is almost here. We have our long lists of gifts to purchase and wrap, foods to prepare for family visits, clothing to be worn for pictures, and work related things that need to happen. These lists of things can cause anyone to lose the “joy” of Christmas if the true meaning of Christmas does not remain forefront in our minds. What can we do to keep the “joy” throughout the season? We read the Bible and remember the true meaning of Christmas. We make sure that in the craziness of life that we attend those beautiful Worship Services and do our part to help make them special to those around us. We pray that our work to purchase and wrap gifts, prepare our food, clean our homes, or anything else on our list does not come in front of the most important thing. That most important things is that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a tiny baby to change our world. That baby came to earth to live among us, and then to die on the cross to save us. That baby “made the angel sing”. That baby “made a new star shine in the sky”. That baby is the reason for Christmas. Let’s keep that reason foremost in our minds. “Happy Birthday, Jesus! – that is what we are preparing for.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for Your Son, Jesus, to the world as that tiny baby. He came so vulnerable as all of us came into the world. But He was special in the way none of the rest of us are. He was Your son, born of a virgin, who came to die on the cross for us. What love, what powerful love, to have no sin yet have the willingness to die for the sins of all. Help us each day, throughout what has become a crazy season, to remember the “reason for the season”. Help us calm down and help us love, for that is what Jesus taught us to do. We love you, God! Amen.
Prayer Focus: Those stressing over the Christmas Holidays