“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Busyness or Bethlehem?,
by Randall D. Kittle
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This time of year there is pervasiveness of Christmas. Every store, every house, everywhere we go we hear Christmas music playing and see Christmas decorations: Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas Trees, etc. We can begin to feel like the poet Phillip Brooks who said “everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight.” Now, it makes no difference that multiplied millions do not celebrate Christmas, the poet was expressing an emotional fact ... not a statistical one.


It is this romantic, emotional appeal that drives most of the mass-mechanism of holiday shopping. The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. Across our great country, Americans gear up for the Christmas holidays by getting up early (or starting out late the night before) with a game plan to shop an array of various stores to take advantage of special prices and get a jump start on their holiday shopping “while selections are still good.” The family time of fellowshipping together with thank-filled hearts is quickly cut short as the “Christmas spirit” of our American culture takes hold.

We must not allow our lives to be captured by the busyness of the Christmas spirit who seeks to distract you from celebrating the birth of the Savior this holiday season. While, we can enjoy the cultural traditions of our society, we must remember to take the time to truly rejoice in the great mystery the worldly system is trying to bury beneath its ever-increasing buzz of bustle, bells, and busyness. My greatest concern about this hecticness of the holidays is that it can obscure the true foundation of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.

Back to Bethlehem
If the busyness of the Christmas season is leaving you little time for God or family, perhaps you should learn a lesson from the first Christmas. When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, there were people everywhere. The great crowds that thronged the streets and overflowed the inns of the city were there because of a great and historic event that was taking place. The Roman Emperor had declared a great census because he wanted to know just how great his kingdom was. I am sure this important event of man’s doing had everyone’s attention and was “grabbing all the headlines.”

Yet, two thousand years later no one really cares about that emperor’s edict. The other event that took place in a stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem still shapes the world and shakes mankind. There, unnoticed by the bustling crowd, the mystery of the ages unfolded. Though overlooked by most, it forever changed mankind, and became the biggest event of all history.

Don’t allow the world’s busyness and the frantic pace of the crowd that surrounds you to make you miss the wonder and awe of pausing to remember the real meaning of Christmas — the incarnation of Jesus the Messiah. The Savior of the world loved you enough to come as we are, so we could become as He is. Like the simple shepherds of long ago, let us stop what we are doing to worship Him of whom the angels sing. When all the dust of eternity has settled this will remain while the rest of the “great and important” things of these days will have faded into obscurity.


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