"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." Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)
Through the years I have written and performed a variety of skits for the church that I attended. For one dealing with Christmas, I brought in a huge bag of Christmas related items and my cell phone. As I unpacked the items one by one, I carried on a conversation on the phone about how stressed I was about getting everything done in time and would reference the item that I held in my hand.
One of those items was a baby doll. As I handled it, I wondered out loud how it had gotten in my bag, and I moved it out of sight. But there was a person in the audience whose job it was to put the baby back where I would see it. As I kept moving it and it kept reappearing, my stress grew and I asked why the baby kept getting in my way.
Preparing for Christmas can be a stressful time. As we decorate our homes, shop for gifts, plan the meal for the big day, attend parties and deal with anxious children, our nerves can become frazzled. Aside from the special preparations, all of our regular needs and concerns need to be tended to as well. It is extremely easy to get so wound up in the "doings" of the season that we forget what it is truly supposed to be about.
Today's verse recounts when the angel appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of the Christ child. Can you imagine what that must have been like? What an honor it was that God chose these men to receive the news. I can safely say that was a moment that none of them ever forgot nor stopped talking about. For them, life became all about that birth.
It is far too easy to lose our focus on what is most important at this time of year. We get so busy fulfilling what we perceive to be the expectations of the season. But, when we take the time to stop, spend some time in the Scriptures reviewing the birth of Jesus, then we can be reminded that there is really only one reason to celebrate.
In my skit, as I picked up the baby doll over and over again and cast it aside, my intent was to show how quick we can be to allow the material part of the season to push aside what is most important. While we enjoy them, the ornaments, lights and bright colored packages are temporary and will be forgotten once they are all put away. Christmas is about our Lord Jesus Christ, who left His majestic throne in heaven and was born as an infant. He was the ultimate gift and who we should be focused on.
It's all about the baby.