EDITOR'S NOTE: Advent officially runs from November 28 - December 24 in 2021. Crosswalk will proudly present one Christmas-themed devotional per day during an Advent season running from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. Check back every day for a new devotional reflection about what the Incarnation - the coming near of our Savior - means for us still today. And Merry Christmas!
An Unhurried Holiday
by Karen Ehman
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger." Luke 2:16 (NIV)
"Hurry up! We're going to be late to the choir concert!"
"Come on kids. Help me unload these groceries right now. I've got to get these cookies baked before bedtime."
"Is it 6 a.m. already? I gotta get to that door buster sale as soon as it opens so I don't miss out on the deals!"
With the holiday season upon us, the music at the mall announces that folks are dreaming of a white Christmas. That may be true. But in reality, many women are dreaming of something else white: a little more white space on our December calendars!
Pageants. Parties. Shopping trips. Baking days. Wrapping nights. At every turn there are people to see, things to do, stuff to buy. The hustle and bustle of this supposed-to-be-happy season can knock the holly-jolly right out of our holidays and replace it with hurried-up headaches instead.
As a result, our calendars become overloaded, crowding out the spiritual significance of the season.
I wonder if the participants in the original Christmas story ever dreamed that the celebration of Christ's birth would become so hassled and hurried. The shepherds? The angels? The wise men? Mary and Joseph too?
Was hurriedness present the night Jesus was born? We might think that it was not. But actually, there was hurry present that night. However, it wasn't to the mall or grocery store that people were rushing.
The shepherds were working in the fields when suddenly an ensemble of angels told them the Christ Child had been born. Luke 2:16 says they hurried off to find Him lying in a manger.
If I had been one of those shepherds, I would have been quiet and amazed once I got there. Being around a newborn baby makes me speak in a hushed tone and feel such awe as I see new life. In the presence of Jesus I wonder if those men too were settled and silent.
Maybe we could do the same today. In the midst of our holiday hustle and tasks, we could stop; leave our work. We could slow down long enough to hurry in another direction. We could put our activities on hold so we might quietly meet with our Lord. We could be settled and silent in the presence of Jesus.
As a result we just might discover an unhurried holiday: a season that will strengthen us spiritually instead of sapping our energy and joy.
How about it? Will we pause and purpose to hurry into His presence instead of rushing from task to task? Dare we linger long enough to be refreshed by the company of the One whom the holiday is really about? The tasks will wait while we do.
Here's to more "white space" this Christmas; space that creates more room in our days for meeting with Jesus!
Dear Lord, remind me daily that it's You I should rush to during the holiday hustle. Not things. Not activities. I want to seek and find only You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Want an unhurried holiday? Visit Karen's blog to sign up to receive by email her 5-Days "From Chaos to Calm: The LET. IT. GO. Christmas Challenge"
Untangling Christmas: Your Go-to Guide for a Hassle-Free Holiday by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice
Reflect and Respond:
What activities and responsibilities threaten to make you rushed and stressed at the holidays?
Pull away from the holiday hustle and spend time with Jesus.
Luke 2:15, "When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'" (NIV)
Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me." (HCSB)
© 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.