Doug Creamer: Welcome Christmas Day!
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022
By Doug Creamer
As I sit down to write, it is a few days before Christmas. I know that as you read this it will either be Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The anticipation of the day’s arrival has reached a peak and now it is time to enjoy the celebration of the birth of our Lord.
I just came in from a walk. I really enjoy seeing all the Christmas decorations in my neighborhood. I enjoy talking to the Lord as I walk and He encouraged me to be still and listen. I noticed several sounds: the squirrels rustling in the leaves, birds chirping in some trees, and the sound of distant traffic. Once I identified the sounds I then recognized what He wanted me to hear…peacefulness. It was so peaceful and quiet. My heart and mind leapt for joy at the sound of peacefulness.
The sky was a milky blue. The clouds are filtering in, a sign of the rain that is to come. A few days ago the weather models were hinting at the possibility of a white Christmas. We will be plenty cold but it looks like we will miss the magic of a white Christmas this year.
I was thinking about the struggles some are facing at what we call the most wonderful time of the year. Some travelers are likely to spend Christmas stuck in airports. Some people are struggling with health issues at home while others are struggling with them in the hospital. Some folks are struggling with sadness because as they sit down to the Christmas feast there is an empty chair because a loved one as gone to their heavenly home.
Can you imagine the struggles that Mary and Joseph faced? They had to walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was roughly 150 miles and Mary was nine months pregnant! They arrive and can’t find a place to sleep. Then Mary goes into labor and she needs a clean, warm place to have her child.
They could not find a decent place to bring the Son of God into the world. How were they feeling? Do you think Joseph felt inadequate? Were they worried? Were they struggling with fear? They must have felt like they had failed God because the only place they could come up with was an animal stall.
The baby arrives. They are both exhausted from the journey and the process of having a baby. Joseph the carpenter had a beautiful crib back at home but the best he can come up with is a feeding trough. He probably feels he has failed God and Mary.
Then, just as they catch their breath and the baby falls asleep, some shepherds come rushing in. They are trembling and begging to see the child. They share a tale of angels singing out in the fields and the news that the long-expected Savior was born. They fall on their knees and gaze in wonder at the baby lying in the feeding trough. Mary and Joseph watch in wonder.
The shepherds leave. They are alone with the baby. They look in wonder at his beautiful face. Maybe they haven’t failed God after all. Maybe He was with them, guiding them all along. The warm cave… the midwife… was God watching over them? Was God meeting their needs? Could God actually be pleased with them?
I want to encourage you this Christmas season to take a deep breath and set aside all the worry about making sure everything is perfect. Look around for those you know who are struggling with challenging circumstances. Consider how you might share your joy with them. It can be as simple as listening, sharing a hug, or even an encouraging word that can help lift another soul. Sometimes we all find ourselves like Mary and Joseph, wondering if we got it all wrong only to discover that God is right there with us.
It’s Christmas and I believe God wants to give you some very special gifts. He has a box of peace for your heart and mind. He has a stocking full of joy that is far better than happiness because joy is focused on Jesus and our eternity with Him. His heart is full of unconditional love for you. If you will open your heart and lift up your head He’ll pour it right in. He has a plate full of mercy and forgiveness because Jesus came to restore your relationship with God your Father. Jesus loves you and Christmas is the proof of it. Life isn’t perfect, but God’s love for you is. Open and accept His gifts. Press on! I know you are going to make it. Merry Christmas and God bless each and every one of us.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email@example.com.