Thursday, December 31, 2009

Come to the Manger

I have just rolled back into town from an extended Christmas trip back to Arkansas. As I reflect back on the last week, Christmas is not about the presents and food. It is a time to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

While visiting our parents, we were fortunate to attend the candlelight service at my parent’s church. The church is small in comparison to our church here, but the spirit is the same. The church has the desire to proclaim Jesus. The candlelight service was simple with Christmas carols and solos. However, what hit a nerve with me is the pastor’s devotional.

This pastor began to read from his journal. He, like so many of us, was stressing about how to complete the Christmas shopping, pack for his family’s trip to visit grandparents and siblings, attend a multitude of church Christmas functions, prepare several sermons for December plus put together the Christmas Eve candlelight service. In addition, he admitted he had to visit a few shut-ins and the hospital. He also had to do the administration of the church. However, over and over through his writings he stated that God was calling, “Come to the manger.”

This simple statement slapped me in the face. I was worried about how my family would spend equal time at our parents. I was concerned with making sure everyone had a gift to open. While in Arkansas I had not once reflected on why we were gathering. God reminded me in through this pastor’s journal that I needed to come to the manger and rediscover the Christ Child.

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