You would have thought by now that we would know how to celebrate Christmas. The office party, the choice of presents, the amount of time to take off, the amount of drink when driving are all contenders for our Christmas toolkit. If you have a habit of looking back on Christmas and thinking you’ve missed something, here are some suggestions for you, based on the first Christmas.
The Shepherds celebrated Christmas by spreading the word around. Christmas is the only time of the year when it is really acceptable to be a Christian. Like the Shepherds, why not try to include in your repertoire telling others about what happened. It will certainly add some spice to the office party.
Those who heard the shepherds were amazed. Familiarity dumbs down the impact of anything. As you give and receive your presents it may help if you allow yourself to be amazed again at the sheer drama of it all: angels, wise men, a virgin birth, a star in the sky, a furious king and a dash to Egypt. It is an amazing story. It might be that even as you read this email you are struck again by its force.
Mary took a quieter approach by treasuring the moments and pondering them. On the day itself, see if you can take a bit of time
out to be quiet, reflect and remember. It’s not easy to find the space but it’s not impossible either.
The shepherds returned after their stable visit glorifying and praising God. In the run-up to Christmas you may attend a carol service or two and on the day you may go to church. All these represent chances to glorify and praise God, or to put it another way, to give praise where it’s due.
You may like to try a short praise time around a meal table on the day. If you are not with Christians try it in the car or in the shower.
You may find that in doing so you don’t need to drink quite so much alcohol! Whatever you do this Christmas, try spreading the word, being amazed, pondering, and praising and see if it helps you have a very happy Christmas. And remember, three of the four activities were done by working shepherds.
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
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