Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Reflection

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there as no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2: 7

There was no room for Him, the Inn was crowded and he had to be placed in a manger. Are we still shouting “No Room!” today? SELF is the Crowded Inn today and the manger is where SELF has been DISPLACED.

We have become so self absorbed that we lose all focus on the real reason for the season. Thoughts of what do I get my loved ones flood our minds. The Christmas parties, shopping for new clothing, the decorations, and our minds are racing a mile a minute. We clean our homes and make all these preparations but do we do the same with our hearts to prepare for this Blessed Season? Do we dust our hearts and remove the cobweb from our souls? Do we polish our spirits?

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior. His birth changed the world, the angel proclaimed to the shepherds “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”

When Jesus was born, there were mixed reactions. Some welcomed Him, some ignored Him, some rejected Him. There was no room for Him at the inn so the Son of God was laid in a manger where the animals were kept. Today we see the same reaction to Christ. Some welcome Him, some reject Him and some ignore Him.

What do we do to prepare for the King of Kings today? What will we get Jesus this year? The shepherds came from their fields leaving their flock to see Him. The Wise Men left their homes and security and made a very long journey to find Him. They brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What will our gifts be?

Yes there is room for the tree and the goodies that we associate with this season but we must focus on the true meaning of the season. The birth of the Christ Child should be the focus of our celebrations so that out hearts may be turned to Christ now and always. The light of Christ is meant to put us in touch with a great virtues and move us to become more grateful and generous. Christmas is meant for us to focus on God’s purpose for us even as it unfolds before us.

The Christmas Story is about real life then and now. The real people courageously struggled to survive in the ‘rat race’ of their time as we do now. It is about how much each one was willing to give of themselves, no matter the stakes.

Our homes are the connection to the Christmas story. Home is where the heart is. Christmas is not the same if we are not home. Christmas is God in flesh, warmly moving into our homes, moving into our hearts. Do we have room in our “Inn”, is it crowded or is there room, a manger heart? How do we move from the crowded inn syndrome to the manger heart? Grace. Self is displaced and God’s love fills every room. We are humbled knowing that He who we have been searching for has been walking beside us and became God in skin so that He may give his life so we may gain ours. Such joy and gratitude erupts within us that our response is awe and wonder, we fall to our knees in humble worship. This is Christmas.

“Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him"-- and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds."

“Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts."-- Max Lucado

So what will our hearts be like this year, the Crowded Inn, “No Room No Room!!” or will we have manger hearts “Come Lord Jesus Come, there is ROOM!”

I wish you all a Season filled with joy and happiness..
May those you love be filled with the joy of this special day.
May Jesus and His Mother Mary glow within your hearts.
May we never feel compromised about what this season truly
means to us all who celebrate the Birth of Our Savior
and may we never forget the "reason for the season."

To those who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you
the same love and joy for all who celebrate in other
ways, for other reasons ~ all with the same simple message.
Be joyful in your expressions of what you have been taught to
share. May your Holidays throughout the year be filled with
the same love and kindness that you should experience on your
very special Holidays. Be joyful in your ability to be able to
express words that you wish to express and do not allow anyone(however small minded) to change the joy that you feel.

And may the spirit of that wonderful birth that brought our Savior to us
be in your hearts all during this season and the rest of the days to come
as we wait faithfully and stand together in love until His return,

forgetting all pettiness, unforgiveness, ill will, envy, strife, malice,or anything that would hinder us from working side by side as we laborin the Kingdom! Let us remember that we are fellow laborers in Christ! And there is no room for competition ...
We are a Team, and a Family!

Let us judge each other with the standard of God's love!
We may not always agree or even be pleased with each other in every
instance, but we can walk together in the oneness of our faith in
Jesus Christ, our Messiah, and Lord!

Merry Christmas!