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“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NRSV)
It seems that amid the noise and haste of Christmas preparations, that we have lost the simplicity and joyous wonder of the season. We need to reclaim the One who has been forgotten.
At Advent our first attention is Jesus. The gift of giving ourselves to Christ will take precedence over our gifts to family and friends. For it is Jesus’ birthday – not ours, not the children’s, not our friends, but His.
So the nourishment of our souls in intimacy with Jesus must be more important than the physical food we emphasize in this season. The beauty of His presence must be greater to us than the array of glittering tinsel and coloured lights. Our peace must first be found in times of silence with our Lord, rather than in the noisy clamour to spend more. And the good, in-filling times alone with Christ must come before the outpouring times with family and friends. Our priorities need to be turned around so that Christmas is not a burden but a blessing. This is how we reclaim Christ at Christmas.
May we grow in an increasing awareness of His presence with us over this season, so that rather than being squeezed out of Christmas, Jesus becomes the only reason that we celebrate it at all. May our desire be not to fill our days with all that needs to be done before the twenty-fifth of this month, but rather a willing responsiveness to be led into worshiping our Saviour and being obedient to His desires alone.
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