We’re halfway through the second week of Advent. A time of preparing our hearts for a renewed focus on the reason Christ became man. In the midst of the busyness we call Christmas, our hearts get tangled up in where to put the focus. Is it on creating a warm and decorative atmosphere in our homes? Or is it on preparing a feast to welcome family both far and near? And if we’re people pleasers, are we caught up in finding just the right gift?
The times were not much different when Jesus came as Mary’s newborn baby, the Savior of the world. Everyone was traveling to be counted in the census. It was definitely a busy time and a stressful one on families. For Mary, it was especially difficult as she was fully pregnant and riding a donkey.
Could those traveling to their towns of origin prepare a warm and welcoming atmosphere in whatever manner of dwelling they found, or were they barely making the journey? Maybe there were some families who welcomed their relatives from other areas, but not without stress.
What kind of abode did Mary and Joseph have to dwell in? Oh, yes, a stable. To welcome their newborn babe–the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Never would a more worthy guest arrive in the world, yet God deemed this humble stall the place in which His Son, both God and man, would make His first appearance to the world.
But God made sure the world would know its Savior had arrived. He announced it with glorious praise from a choir of the heavenly angels to shepherds tending their flocks . And He sent the Wise Men to bring an odd assortment of gifts for Jesus. No toys. Just treasures that foretold His future and declared Him a King.
So, instead of running ourselves ragged this year, let’s settle our hearts in a humble abode and bow before the King of Kings, singing His praises as we light our Advent candles. He whispers Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love to us if we pull ourselves away from the noise to hear Him.
May His peace be with you this year.