As we journey through Advent, let us look for the Savior. Let us not miss the miracle, but be overcome with joy as we contemplate the wondrous grace of our God.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12 – NIV
I wonder. Would I have missed it? If I had been there that long ago night, would I have missed the moment?
Would I have even noticed the very pregnant young woman on the donkey? Would I have noticed the stressed young man as he searched the street for a place to stay for the night? Would I have seen the anguish in his eyes as he tried to find a place for his laboring wife to give birth? Would I have stopped to speak, or rushed on past? Would I have shrugged my shoulders, thinking their plight sad, but certainly not my problem?
Later, when that brilliant star lit up the night sky, would I have paid it any attention? Would I have been too busy with my nightly routines to even take time to stare out the window? If I did happen to see the star, would it make an impression on me? Would I be awed by the magnitude of the star, or simply shrug it off as a freak of nature? Would I have wondered about its meaning, or just explained it away with scientific jargon, focusing on colliding molecules instead of an astounding miracle?
When I heard the cry of a newborn coming from the lowly stable, would I have gone to check it out, or passed on by? When the shepherds dropped by for a visit, would I have followed them for a sneak peek, or stood my ground, shaking my head over the struggles of the homeless?
I just wonder. Would I have been too busy to notice? Would I have been too caught up in my own little world that I would have missed the Savior’s birth? Would my skepticism have kept me from believing the Messiah would actually come?
I hate to think that I would have let busyness interfere with generosity and kindness. I hate to think that I would be selfish and cynical. I hate to think that I would be so distracted by my day to day life that I would fail to see that amazing star lighting up the night sky.
Yet, don’t I miss such things every day? Don’t I let busyness or self importance keep me from doing the things I should do for others?
Perhaps Advent is more than hanging greenery and pretty white lights. Perhaps Advent is a reminder to pause and take notice, to see the baby in the manger once again. Maybe it is an opportunity to re-connect with a story that has the power to change lives. Let us be awed once more by the miracle of Christ’s Holy birth. Let us rejoice in this Good News today, sharing its beautiful message with a world that yearns for hope and peace.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 – NIV
O Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, we fall down at Your feet and praise Your Holy Name. You are our God and we are Your servants. You have given us a gift beyond anything we could ever imagine. You sent Your Son to be born in a lowly manger, to live among us, to walk beside us, to show us the way. Then You let Him die for us so that we might have eternal life. What an amazing gift. Still, we take it all for granted. We fail to notice the needs all around us. We miss the magnificent as we focus on the mundane. Give us new eyes to see and new ears to hear, that we might live lives that make a difference in this dark world. O Jesus, help us shine Your light that all may see.
In the Holy Name of Jesus, we pray,