“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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.” (Luke 2:8)
How simple God’s plan…and how complicated we can make it. Christmas is here…and if I allow my troubles to take hold of my heart, yes, I can become afraid…from the comical (afraid our tree…the third to last one on the farm we nabbed because we waited until this past weekend to get it, which is still leaning right, might fall; to the daily tribulations (afraid I forgot someone on my shopping list or I will forget something on the food list); to the serious (afraid our family won’t all be able to see our tree, open the gifts, have dinner and celebrate because not all are in good health); to the critical (worried that all travel safely in this horrible winter weather).
But if I allow my sights to be set on that simple manger, I can remain humble, grateful, peaceful and joyful…remembering Christmas is about Christ…being born, coming to save us, promising to come again, loving us unconditionally and calling us to love others in return.
I am thankful for each and every one of you reading this, for friends and family, for all of the students I’ve taught and clients with whom I’ve worked and their amazing books this past year…and I sincerely wish you all a blessed, peaceful, joyful Christmas season and a healthy, happy New Year!