A Christmas Eve Meditation
"Okay, people, keep moving along. There is nothing to see here. The Nativity scene is yesterday's news. It's nothing compared to what the shopping malls, Amazon, and Santa Claus can offer you. So please, put the nativity scene back on the shelf and keep moving along," says the holiday hustle and bustle.
Maybe that's not exact wording of holiday commercials and jingles but the message is the same.
Why stop and be distracted by a baby in a horse trough when you could lay your eyes upon a brand new iPhone 6 or an XBOX?
Why waste your Christmas hearing the song of angels when you can listen to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas"?
Seriously, how could you even think about missing out on "A Christmas Story" or "It's A Wonderful Life" by taking a detour to a stable with a young virgin and her faithful fiance who are visited by wise men?
We have all heard the message, "Keep moving along. There is nothing to see. Don't waste your time on this baby. That's an old archaic story with no relevance for today."
Don't be fooled. Don't be distracted by the sounds and noises. Stop and listen. Come and see. Come and behold what is truly lying in the manger. The prophet Micah wrote 800 years before the birth of Christ about who this baby would be that was born on Christmas Day:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace. (Micah 5:2-5)
Don't miss what is lying in the manger. The world tells us "there is nothing to see here." There is nothing to see here, unless you are looking for a King. There is nothing to see here, unless you are looking for security in his saving love. There is nothing to see here, unless you are looking for peace.
The shepherds left their sheep in the fields to "Come and See." The wise men traveled from a far to "Come and See." None of these left disappointed from beholding not just another baby, but the King of Kings.
Don't keep moving along. Don't be fooled by the noise. There is more to this manger than a baby. There is more to this holiday than presents. Behold, a King has come! A King has come to rule and reign over our hearts! A King has come not just to bring peace but to be our peace!
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33 ESV)