Do you have Christmas traditions? Things you do year after year? Things that maybe your adult children now do too?
We are a family of traditions. My oldest is 46 and my youngest is 27. And, for the most part, everything is still the same. Regardless of what house or what country we have lived in.
The Shine Family Christmas Eve Traditions –
And we will do this tonight. Even though my youngest is 27 years old. Even though she is the only child who will be here with us this year. Because, it’s just what we do.
We prepare on Christmas Eve….awaiting the arrival of Santa.
And what she did to prepare on Christmas eve…awaiting the arrival of her son…our Messiah. Pregnant and riding on a donkey going from one town to the other just because there was a decree (Luke 2:4). Was she just frustrated because she couldn’t stay where she was currently living until the baby was born? Was she upset because she couldn’t be with her family? Was she so uncomfortable sitting on the donkey for weeks on end? I know I would have been! You too?
Or was she joyful because she knew that she carried the Messiah. The King. Our Savior. God's plan. The one and only who could save us from ourselves.
And, as what we now know as Christmas Day, approaches…
Mary is ready to give birth any minute. What did she think when Joseph told her there was no room at the inn? What was she feeling? Did she cry? Was she disappointed? Frustrated? Resigned?
On that first Christmas Eve did she hang onto all the scripture about her baby boy? Since all of the foretelling of Jesus's birth was in the Old Testament, she would have been raised reading and studying those scriptures (Zechariah 9:9 and Isaiah 7:14).
Did she know that her baby was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)? Did she know that he was to come from the house of David because that is what the Scripture said?
I can only assume that she knew what was going to happen…in an abstract kind of way. But, did that make it any easier? I really have NO idea. What I do know is this –
She said ‘I am the Lord's servant. Let it be to me as you have said.' (Luke 1:38) She trusted that He would protect her and take care of her.
Mary's fiancee, Joseph, did not divorce her (back in the day, being engaged was the same commitment as marriage (Matthew 1:18-24)).
Joseph found a stable with a place for Mary to give birth to the King. They were surrounded by farm animals. Was the hay dirty and smelly? Was it dark in the stable? Was there anyone there to help them? Were they terrified?
And then I think…that the peace of God, which is beyond all understanding, guarded their hearts. They were content. They were happy. They were joyful. They were excited.
They were with God. Welcoming His son into the world. The son that came for YOU and me. All on that first Christmas Eve.
Praise the Lord. Selah.
Feel free to read the following:
This Christmas eve sit back and remember that God loves you so much that he sent his son for YOU. He will wrap his arms around you…and take care of you…always.