Happy December, friends. It's my favorite time of year. The Christmas Story is my favorite passage for a few reasons. It was the first passage of scripture I ever memorized. Kindergarten. New Life Christian Academy. Montgomery, Alabama. Luke 2:1-20. Every year I get to remember how five-year old me felt about the Christmas Story. I was overwhelmed by memorizing a whole twenty verses. I was curious. I was excited. I wanted to know stuff. You know? Just exactly how many animals were there? What do frankincense and myrrh smell like? I mean, sometimes I really wonder just how beautiful Mary was? She's the earthly mother of Jesus. I know she was absolutely stunning. Think about that.
Advent season is fun because I go to church and hear sermons on my favorite thing for a few weeks. Such a wonderful time, everything is wonderful. Everyone is happier. But it's not just that. It never fails, every year I learn something different from the Christmas story. Last year, God reminded me just how glorious he really is. When the angels appear to the shepherds, the glory of The Lord shines around them. I make a feeble attempt to imagine what the glory of The Lord looked like to them and I am speechless. This year, I think Advent is going to be a challenging, reassuring time.
Every so often it is imperative that someone remind me what's going on. Sometimes I get confused. I get confused about where my life is going, where I am supposed to be, and especially what on Earth I am supposed to do. Or worse, I start working on my own agenda. I get cocky and I think I know best. For instance, Thanksgiving Break was great, but by Saturday I was absolutely lost and completely confused about what I needed to do to not fail all my classes. It's like I had forgotten how to actually study, write papers, and complete assignments. But luckily, there's a cure for that. Jesus. And there's nothing like Advent to refocus.
Focus. The entire Christmas story has one main focus. Jesus. The shepherds. The angels. The wise men. Even the animals gathered around to see (or at least that's what the illustrations depict). Even the star. One main focus. The most important day in the whole world and everyone had the same focus. To me, the simplicity of the concept that gets me the most. So much happening, but converging on one marvelous thing. It's that simple. My focus should be on The Lord, plain and simple.
Simpler said than done. We live in a world rampant with distractions. Not only is advent a wonderful time to focus on The Lord, but it is a fantastic time to strip away the distractions in life. Let God be your focus this Advent season. Take every opportunity to be still and rest in the wonder and glory of the Christmas story.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:14