We say that, don’t we? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We sing it, too. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Toys in every store.” What do we mean when we use this phrase? Are we referring to the décor and music and characters that fill our mantles, living rooms, and malls, and TVs during this time of the year? “We put up our tree, it sure is beginning to look like Christmas around here?” “We took the kids to the mall to see Santa. It sure is starting to feel like Christmas.”
Is it December snow that causes it to feel like Christmas? What if the only snow you get in your part of the world is the kind you sing about? If it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, what did the first Christmas look like? How do we know it’s really beginning to look like Christmas? Because the days of the calendar are slipping by one by one until we reach the end of December? Certainly the first Christmas wasn’t filled with shopping malls and reindeer and mad scurrying with long lists of gifts to purchase and groceries to buy.
The first Christmas. Quiet. The lowest of the low shepherds spending the night in a field with smelly, noisy sheep, watching out for predators. Bright star in the sky. Angels. Journeys. Everyone was on a journey. The shepherds began their journey when the angels proclaimed the news of Christ’s birth. The magi made their journey to see Jesus by following the star.
Mary and Joseph ended their journey before Jesus was born and moved into their temporary dwelling with the livestock, some hay, and a manger in which to place their baby boy. A manger. Ever thought about that? A manger—a place from where the cows and horses ate their food. The Savior of the world was placed in a feeding trough for His makeshift bed. A trough that typically provided nourishment for the animals became the cradle for the Christ child. Was it a sign of what was to come? For the Christ child would grow into a man and one day tell His followers, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). Christ provides all the nourishment we will ever need. And He started His life’s journey in a manger.
No question, the first Christmas looked nothing like the Christmases of today. Perhaps in a sense that is true. But maybe it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Are you journeying to see the Christ child? Are you preparing a place in your life for Him to be? Reading His words and reflecting on His teachings and applying them to your life? Are you feeding on the Bread of Life? What or who are you following? And are you being led closer to Jesus?
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas in your spirit? Reflect on the coming of Christ today. Prepare your heart for the baby Jesus. And share with someone else why it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
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