Where’s My Attention/Emphasis This Christmas?

Getting the kids caught back up in school from being out with Covid, post Covid cleaning, Christmas shopping, decorating, plans with family, parenting…There are many things that are occupying my brain space, yet God keeps reminding me this season of joy.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Put away all fear; for I am bringing you good news of great joyjoy for all the People.”

Luke 2:10 GWT

Lots of kids stand in line this time of year to meet Santa Claus. When it’s their turn, he bends over to pick them up and set them on his lap. He leans in to hear of the one gift they really want for Christmas. This whole experience brightens up some of their faces in the hopes that their Christmas wish will come true; and then, there are those who are utterly terrified of every single detail of it…the strange elf helper, the bearded man, not being next to Mom or Dad, pictures, the uncomfortable Christmas sweater they had to wear, or the bow so tightly tied in their hair…

There are child-sized fears, and there are adult-sized fears:

  • Are we going to have enough money this Christmas?
  • Will the weather cooperate, so we can all get together?
  • What gift do I get for someone who means so much to me, but has everything?
  • Will Covid hit our family and keep us from getting together?
  • Will my kiddos love and desire Christ above all else?
  • How do I share about the One we’re focusing on in a way that someone will hear about Him and not be offended?

Years ago, a heavenly messenger was sent to tell shepherds some good news. No, they didn’t sit on Santa’s lap and request this news. We aren’t even told if they’d asked Almighty God for or about it! Yet God, in His kindness, willingly leaned His head down toward those shepherds to give them His undeserved approval, support, and the great news of Jesus. He gave them His grace, and when they were aware of this favor God was giving them, it gave them intense joy!

This awareness of God leaning toward them, willingly giving His grace and favor, is actually the real meaning of joy…and where it comes from!

A stirring admiration affected their emotions and minds. Yes, their occupations made them unclean, but isn’t that why Jesus came–for all those who are unclean with sin (Mark 2:17), to forgive His people’s sins (Matthew 1:21)? God chose the shepherds with intention! He chose them, because He knew He’d have their attention; He chose them, because He knew they, like sheep, would listen and follow directions well; He chose them, because they’d respond right away, their excitement would be contagious, and glory and praise would be given back to God alone! There’s nothing mentioned about their cleaning up before they met Jesus. They just left right away, short tunic and all…not just to see this message come to life with their very own eyes, but so they could “see it” in their minds–to “get it,” to understand. They had an urgency…an emphasis…and chose to go!

The GOOD NEWS, the teaching and revelation of Jesus, the Messiah, isn’t something we’re to be afraid of and shy away from! To share this message with others is a proper response, when we consider that God bent toward us to share it with US!

Does this stir up an awareness and excitement in me, or am I numb to the message?
If I have joy, is it contagious?
Does God have my attention, or am I distracted? Am I more aware of beautiful decorations, Christmas movies, family traditions, and gifts, or am I clearing out time and brain space to see…to understand the messages He’s sending of His favor?

Clear some brain space and let me know of an example you’ve seen of God’s favor this past week, a message that excites you! Your joy is contagious!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

For more on the meaning of joy, check out the last post:

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