Posted by: mikenicholsblog | December 20, 2010

do you hear what I hear?

Over the course of the last few days I have experienced the Christmas season from various perspectives. It started with viewing a great production about Christmas that ended with a moving presentation of Christ’s birth. As the week continued, I saw snow at home (I don’t like to snow plow), and 70-degree temperatures (I like warmth) in Florida. After a quick trip, it was home again to the cold. Later in the week as my wife and I walked into a store, there was a man with a bell and a container to take monetary gifts. In handing him the obligatory dollar, it pained me when he said, “Is this for me or the container?” In a short week and in different climates, I saw the beauty and the pain of the season.  Christmas comes to all, and I am so thankful that Christ came for us all.

This season has probably brought you a wide variety of experiences also. It is probably safe to assume that your pace has caused a bit of distraction from the reason we celebrate. Anyone serious about his or her faith struggles with the thought of not emphasizing enough what the birth of our Savior means. Sure, we see Advent candles lit at church, and go to Christmas programs, but taking a moment to internalize Christ’s incarnation often gets lost amongst all the other trappings of the season. History and our eternal salvation hinge on the moment in time when Christ came. It is only proper for Christ followers to focus on the greatest of all gifts.

One of the easiest ways to focus on His birth is to truly listen to what God told us in His Word. If I am not careful, the words of His coming become a story I read or “hear” each year, but that I do not truly listen to. Since you may feel the same, this year read these words for yourself as if you had never heard them before. It is great to hear them at Christmas dinner or a church program, but far better to read and reflect on them personally.  Find some quiet amongst the bustle, and take time to “hear” with your heart.

Luke 2:1-14
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

On that day a Savior was born, for you and for me. For those experiencing either pain or joy, know the truth that He came for all. Let the good news of the verses above resonate in your spirit this week. History hinged on that moment, and He came for you and me. Experience His joy this Christmas.

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