It’s finally here! The day thousands of children have been waiting for. The big deadline shoppers have been frantically preparing for. The day before Christmas.
But as the world scurries about with hurried last minute preparations, what are we doing the day before the celebration of Christ’s birth? Are we joining the crowd in stress-filled gross consumerism? Or are we preparing our hearts for the remembered arrival of the King of Kings? Are we listening for that heavenly choir that appeared to the shepherds long ago? Is our heart ready for what tomorrow brings?
Over two thousand years ago, a young girl was getting ready to deliver her firstborn son while her anxious husband hovered outside. Meanwhile, nearby shepherds were getting ready to bed down for the night as they stayed in the fields with their sheep. It was just an ordinary night. The people of Bethlehem were going about their nightly routine while also trying to accommodate the influx of visitors due to Caesar’s census. No one was expecting anything great that night. Children were not watching the clock waiting for the new day to come nor were their parents rushing down Main Street looking for last minute gifts. It was an ordinary night, in an ordinary town, among ordinary people.
But there, on that night, in that town, among those people, God did the extraordinary and forever changed history. The cries of a newborn baby signaled the beginning of a new era. As the timeless carol states:
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight”
So on this Christmas Eve, let’s take some time to ponder and meditate upon that first night. The night when a virgin gave birth to a son. The night when heaven’s gates were opened wide, and the angelic host sang God’s praise before blurry-eyed shepherds. That night which started out just like any other until God reached down and touched earth. Then, everything changed.
Now over two thousand years later, this night is no longer ordinary. It is celebrated with great pomp and excitement. However, this is of man’s inventing. So let us remember that to God and the people present on that first Christmas, this was just an ordinary night until God touched it with the extraordinary. Therefore, amidst the chaos, busyness, and festivities of Christmas, let’s look for God in the ordinary and in the stillness, and let’s give Him room to work in our hearts and lives to raise the ordinary to extraordinary.
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