“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”  Luke 2:14

I had always set up our nativity scene on a buffet table right by the front door.  Everyone who came and went saw it. Anyone in the living room or kitchen could see it.  And I liked it that way.  I always wanted Jesus to be front and center of Christmas.

Then we moved to a new house and the best place for the buffet was in the front living room.  You know, that room no one ever goes into.  The one that gets passed by on the way to the family (tv) room and the kitchen.

We started unpacking Christmas decorations and the nativity scene automatically went on the buffet. But I still wanted Jesus to be front and center, so I walked around the house looking for a more suitable place for him.  Nothing seemed right.  I didn’t want it where it could get broken.  Some places weren’t big enough.  Some were too high.

“But people will have to go out of their way to see it” I thought. 

Yes, yes they will.

 

There was a lot going on that first Christmas in the little town of Bethlehem and throughout the surrounding regions. The first census had been ordered by Caesar Augustus, and there was a lot of traffic as people made their way to their tribal towns to be counted.  Joseph and Mary traveled 70 miles…70 miles, from Nazareth to Bethlehem, while Mary was very pregnant.

They came into town, dusty and thirsty and exhausted. Maybe the birth pains had already begun. All they wanted was a place to lie down and prepare to give birth to the King of kings.

But there was no place for them. They knocked on doors, but everyone had gotten there ahead of them and every room was filled. Joseph and Mary found refuge where they could, somewhere near the animals, away from the crowd.

No one knew they were there. Not one person in that small but suddenly bustling town knew that just around the corner, in the still of the night, under the stars, was the center of the universe.

Those who heard were the shepherds out in the quiet field, suddenly hearing from a host of angels that the Messiah had been born. They left their lives for a moment, and went out of their way to see the Savior of the world, the One God’s people had been waiting for.

Some time later the magi left their lives for a moment, and went out of their way to follow a star to worship and bring gifts to the King of the Jews.

Christmas is a busy, bustling, noisy time of year. But really, when are our lives not that way? For most of us, not very often.

Our lives are full of busyness and running here and there.  The world is full of chaos and anxiety, and is as short on peace now as it was then.  It always will be.  Funny though, how we can try looking for peace in the world, right in the middle of all that chaos.

But God calls us to come away.

Like the shepherds and the magi, when we come away from the noise, away from the hustle and bustle of the season no matter what season that may be, to worship the King, to see and hear from the Savior of the world, the Savior of our own lives, we will again find a miracle, wrapped in humility and joy and peace.

When we go out of our way to meet with Him and give Him our whole heart’s attention, He will be there, waiting, and we will be ready to receive Him and all He is and has for us.