Can you imagine yourself peeking from the open door of the stable? The air is fresh and the ground is crisp. It smells of farm animals and hay. All you can hear is the rhythmic breathing of the living creatures in sight. You crouch lightly to witness the most glorious moment of all times. That sweet, fragile, beloved, newborn baby boy is softly sleeping next to his parents, who are overwhelmed with ardent affection for him. The night is quiet, unaware. The hope of the world is born.

Nowadays, when we think of Christmas, we may be unable to picture quiet times and joy abounding. We may not even have a minute to catch our breath. The holiday preparations alone can be stressful. The stores are filled with people, ads, and loud Christmas music. There is a general euphoria, and some unspoken anxiety, shared by the crowd as they want to pass on the tradition and love of the season to their families.

I want to invite you to stop and listen. Even if only for ten minutes. Let God fill you with His joy as you consider all that He has done for you. Even if your circumstances are not very likely to inspire joy, think of how the King of kings came in human flesh in some of the lowest of all places. God breathes joy and peace even where it is least expected. As Christian pop artist Mandisa sings, there is nothing more strange than seeing God in a manger.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, our greatest gift. As we try to have the perfect holiday, may we instead try to find the most love to give as this is what this world truly needs. May we bring the hope and the joy of Christ to all in this holiday season. Amen.

Go Deeper — As you prepare for the holidays at hand, take a few minutes each day to breathe and remind yourself of the reason for the season. Find God’s joy in all of it.

Tags: Joy Luke 2
Photo Credit: Grant Ritchie