By Kari Lewis on December 15, 2017
It’s the middle of December, which finds many of us in the thick of our hustle-iest bustle-iest time of the year!
The other day on the way to church I was pondering where the season has already gone and what all I still had to do. I was mentally checking things off in my mind and thinking about the upcoming week when Silent Night began playing on our car CD player.
“Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.”
All is calm? Sigh.
For just an instant I almost enviously thought about how “easy” that first Christmas must have been. I mean, ALL Mary and Joseph had to do was sit back and await Baby Jesus (well, after their arduous journey, that is!). How hard could that be? Then, once He was born, they got to sit by lantern light and gaze on His sweetly sleeping face.
True, they didn’t have to figure out just what to buy Uncle Henry, and they didn’t bake dozens and dozens of cookies. They probably didn’t go to a single office Christmas party—or countless Christmas play practices. And when a stable full of company dropped in, they probably hadn’t prepared a festive buffet to offer their guests.
Things were simple…but not easy.
These days we seem to have a knack for making things difficult, don’t we?
I can just imagine if Mary lived now and was about to embark on a journey at nine months pregnant. Our 2017 Mary would have probably tried to pack a crib, changing table, baby seat, baby swing, tons of diapers, baby wipes, diaper cream, outfits, rattles, blankets and more, just for the baby—to say nothing of what she would have packed if she planned to deliver the baby somewhere other than a hospital!
Mary of two thousand years ago may have only packed a couple blankets for the baby (see an interesting note about swaddling clothes below!) After all, she and Joseph had arms to hold the baby, she was equipped to feed the baby—what else was likely to be “needed”?
Maybe that’s where we need to be. Maybe we need to step back and think about what is “needed” for us to celebrate CHRISTmas. I’m not saying not to do any baking, shopping, decorating or entertaining. I’m just trying to remind us what we already know, but too often forget to put into practice. CHRISTmas is about JESUS.
Realizing that is what is needed!
With it so close to Christmas, maybe it’s time to leave some of our usual time-consuming, stress-inducing, holiday busyness undone (Gasp!). Maybe it’s time to narrow in on only the most important, most meaningful things for our own family. Most importantly, maybe it’s time to settle in, think on Jesus and worship Him for what He has done for us!
Maybe it comes down to “Silent Night—Simplistic Night”?
Here’s to wishing you and yours some “calm” and “bright” for the rest of this CHRISTmas season and in the New Year!
*As an interesting note (I have NOT studied enough to know if this is true or not—but if it is, the significance is awesome!), some believe the mention in the Christmas story of “swaddling clothes” is noteworthy because the shepherds the angels visited were those who cared for and raised the lambs that would be used in sacrifices at the temple. Supposedly, the sacrificial lambs were wrapped in swaddling clothes right after birth to keep them from injury or blemish. Jesus is the spotless lamb of God—without blemish—the sacrifice for our sins!