Advent,  Inspired,  unexpected blessings

Let’s Celebrate like it’s the First Christmas

We are experiencing grief and lament in this season because we are going without many of our regular traditions.

I am continually reminded that Christmas 2020 is probably much closer than we realize, to the first Christmas when Jesus was born.

Did you participate in a nationwide census? Look to Mary and Joseph:

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

Luke 2:1-3 NIV

Did God call you to try something new? Adapt to your surroundings? Learn flexibility and manage unexpected change? Look to Mary & Joseph

“I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”

Luke 1:38

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.”

Matthew 1:24 NIV

Did your wedding get postponed, or change in anyway that you didn’t plan? Look to Mary and Joseph:

” This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” –

Matthew 1:18 NIV

Were you supposed to travel to see family this holiday? Look to Mary and Joseph:

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” 

Luke 2:4-5 NIV

Perhaps your baby was born in a place unimagined, surrounded by people wearing masks. Look to Mary and Joseph:

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Luke 2:6-7 NIV

Christmas Eve worship will be virtual, or a very different experience than in years past. Look to the shepherds:

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:10-14 NIV

Mary and Joseph definitely weren’t inside the synagogue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the Shepherds got a light show in the fields!

What have you gained in the midst of cancelled plans? How can we change our perspective and look through the lens of Mary and Joseph during this Christmas week?

  • What if we sat near an outdoor Nativity creche in our neighborhood, singing all the carols we traditionally love to sing?
  • What if we turned off all the lights in the house except on the Christmas tree, and imagined, “the stars in the bright sky, looked down where he lay”?
  • What if we sat in the quiet of the morning, without worrying about hosting family at our homes, pondering all that has happened, just as Mary did?

We may certainly grieve the wonderful traditions we have all come to know and love in our lives in this season. But these things are only temporary.

May this year’s celebration, just as we’ve honored for over 2000 years, point back to that very first Christmas, where we rejoice at the birth of our Savior, who brought unconditional love and hope to a broken place.

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