Christmas – What’s on the agenda?

Well, I need to look at my schedule for Christmas…

This month has walked right by me. Wonder where all of those days for shopping went to and how many great sales I missed. I could have saved some money. Ken would have been so pleased with me.

Sunday: Dec. 17th: 1 week until Christmas.  I dressed up like an Elf to help photographers take family pictures at our church.

Monday, Dec. 18th: Mail Christmas cards and deliveries.

Tuesday, Dec. 19th: Mail Christmas cards and deliveries.

Wednesday, Dec.20th: Clean up the house for Christmas, and start thawing the turkey.

Thursday, Dec. 21st: Prepare dinner items early.

Friday, Dec. 22nd: Relax. I am an Energizer Bunny, and so I do not know how to do that!

Saturday, Dec. 23rd: Finish making dinner items.

Sunday, Dec. 24th: Christmas Eve services.

Monday, December 25th: Christmas Day family traditions.

Did you notice that Christmas became all about me and my agenda? Christmas has become so commercialized, and I get caught up in it! Undeniably, that day has a very specific purpose! It is not about shopping for the sales, mailing cards, giving gifts, trying out the latest styles, going to certain services or having our family traditions. Those things are not wrong in and of themselves; however, if any one of those items make us lose focus on what really matters, than that is wrong.

Let’s take a look at Jesus and His very humble beginning. That is the right direction!  The very first Christmas…

The Birth Announcement

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail. Luke 1:26-37 NLT

Then Mary left on a journey….

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:39-40 NLT

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home. Luke 1:56 NLT

Joseph’s response to the engagement interruption….

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[a] quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 NLT

The Beginning of A Very Special Birth

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Matthew 2: 1-7 NLT

Surprised Visitors….

Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A cry was heard in Ramah—weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.” When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Matthew 2:8-20 NLT

Other Visitors…

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem. Matthew 2:1 NLT

Herod’s Unreal Desire to Worship the King…

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:7-9 NLT

The Magi’s Adoration…

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. Matthew 2: 10-12 NLT

God’s Protection of His Son…

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Matthew 2: 13-16 NLT

Fulfillment of Prophecy

Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. Matthew 2: 17 NLT

Does that story move you into silence? It does that for me! Our Lord was the very special gift given on Christmas Day, just for us! Isn’t that enough for us? It should be. So when we start making Christmas just about a holiday to share with friends and family, we miss the real reason for Christmas.

Do your children know the true meaning and importance of Christmas? Are your actions around this holiday showing them what Christmas is really about?

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Karen Leaman

Karen Leaman

Karen Leaman has a passion for students, and for over 25 years has been volunteering within churches, leading and mentoring students.

Karen, and her husband Ken, have been married for 26 years, and have a 25 year old son.  They live in McKInney, TX, just North of Dallas.

As Karen and Ken, repeatedly witnessed many Christian students who were active within the Church walk away from their faith shortly after graduating high school, they grew frustrated.  Studies show that about 70% of young adults leave their faith after graduation, which is a huge issue since they are the future of the Church.  After much prayer and searching God's direction for many years, the Leaman's felt His calling to start a ministry to address this problem.  In 2014, they gathered like minded Christian professionals to help begin Young Adults of Worth Ministries.  We believe that this ministry is from God, and it will be blessed by Him for His glory alone.