In the story of Jesus’ birth, Luke writes that an angel appeared to shepherds saying, “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem!”
But as amazing as that Bible verse is, I don’t want you to forget that as of today—December 21—there are only 368 shopping days left ‘til Christmas. You may think there are three days left, but I’m not talking about this year. There are only 368 shopping days left until Christmas 2022.
Don’t laugh. I’m half-serious. Next year, I want to get ahead because too often I get caught up in the chaos of Christmas.
Buying and driving and waiting in line, cooking and cleaning and racing to be on time.
Photos to pose for, wearing sweaters that itch, holding the credit card bill and wishing you were rich.
Think about all that we do in our post-Thanksgiving sprint. For thirty days we fuss and fight and stress and overspend, and how long do we experience the joy and true meaning of Christmas?
Just a few hours.
But those few hours can change everything.
In just a few hours, Mary labored to deliver Jesus.
In just a few hours, the shepherds made their way to worship Jesus.
After months of traveling, the wise men spent just a few hours worshipping their savior and presenting their gifts.
And, ultimately, it was just a few hours where the gown up Jesus was arrested and crucified, and three days later rose from the dead.
A few hours can change everything.
In just a few hours this Christmas, you can put a smile on the face of a stranger
- as you wave them in, allowing their car to enter a traffic-filled street, or
- as you pick up the blanket dropped by a crying toddler in the mall and hand it to frazzled parents saying, “You’re doing great, mom and dad. Merry Christmas.”
In just a few hours this Christmas, you can heal relational wounds with family or friends by apologizing for what you did or didn’t do during the year.
In just a few hours this Christmas, you can strengthen a relationship by following through on what you promised a spouse, a child, a friend.
In just a few hours this Christmas, your soul can be refreshed and renewed by realizing Jesus is not just God’s gift to the world; he’s God’s gift to you.
Your Christmas chaos will last thirty days.
Your Christmas experience will last just a few hours.
But let those few hours mean something. Let them impact the weeks, the months, and the year that follows.
There are only 368 shopping days left ‘til Christmas 2022, but each of those days can be filled with the “good news” and “great joy” the angel promised because Jesus—your Savior—is here.
QUESTION (leave a comment below)
What is one action you can do (or not do) to help you remember and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas?