The Weekly Breather: After Christmas

Settle Yourself and Release

The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. Take a deep breath and settle into the deep realization that Christmas can live in your heart all year long.

Read this text several times and circle the word “all” every time you see it in the text.

Luke 2:8–20 (NIV)

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.”

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.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Ponder

Consider this:

  1. The message the angels told the shepherds was for all people and all who heard the words were amazed. No one was left out of the invitation of the good news and no one rejected this message. When we are amazed by something this creates a strong memory which is attached to a strong emotion. We often reminisce about what we have seen and heard, and we retell the story to others because it made such an impression upon us. The message of the good news at Christmas needs to be held in our hearts and replayed over and over again.

How will you keep Christmas alive all year long?

  1. The shepherds took the active role of sharing the good news about the birth of Jesus. Remember in Luke 2:19, Mary took a more contemplative stance.

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

We all might be making plans to put away our Christmas decorations. I recall a pastor who said he kept his nativity scene up for months after Christmas as a reminder that the manger needs to be with us all year long.

How will you store the message of Christmas in your heart, so that it is not an event that happens just once a year and then forgotten?

Pray

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let me receive my King; let my heart prepare Him room every day. Amen.

Kathy Milans

Kathy has experience as an elementary educator, teacher trainer, adjunct professor, and has served as Family Resource Director for a major hospital. Kathy is a Kentucky Licensed Pastoral Counselor and is credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor by the American Association of Play Therapy. She is owner of a private practice, Path of Life Ministry, in Wilmore, KY.

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