9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. Ė Luke 2:9 AMP
Would your reaction be any different? Youíre outside, minding your own business, with nothing but a night sky, crackling fire, and an occasional bleating sheep or lowing cow. Then wham-o! An angel appeared and itís more like day than night. I would have been scared out of my wits too. For those shepherds that first Christmas night, it was a Christmas to remember.
Today there are Christmases which we remember more than others. As a child one year I remember receiving a drum set. I must have made a big deal about them or my parents would not have purchased them. But I also suspect that there were moments they second-guessed themselves because I was probably the worst drum player they had ever heard. Believe me; I couldnít carry a beat in a bucket in those days. I also remember Christmas eight years ago Marlo gave me an expensive watch. Now it wasnít the gift of the watch I remember so well. The circumstances of that Christmas and its meaning carried much more weight than the gift.
Different situations in our lives cause us to view Christmas in a different light from one year to the next. Some are recalled more than others because of the sheer excitement of the gifts we receive. But some are held close in our hearts because of where our life is at the time, i.e. recently coming through major trials or the first Christmas after the death of a loved one. A Christmas under such circumstances can sometimes take its toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. The truth is that most of us in adulthood have probably have seen those times and wish we could forget them. But those Christmases are the ones we remember most.
The Christmas we would rather forget is often one that helps build our character or reveal our shortcomings. You see, Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, happiness, and hope, So to have to mold Christmas into a situation that challenges our faith or shows us our wrongs just seems unfair. This time of year we donít want to face our flaws. This time of year we want the warm fuzzies instead of having to look at reality. Christmas is supposed to be candy canes, rainbows, and fun. Thank you, but Iíll take my faith challenge after January 1st.
I used to buy Marlo everything she ever wanted for Christmas. For years she told me that if she could just have me that would make her happy. She said she would even live in a cardboard box if thatís what it took to have me. I would always reply, but you do have me, Iím right here in front of you. The only problem is that my heart was everywhere else. My heart was at work or involved in the community we lived in. I made countless attempts to buy her happiness, but it was all in vain. But when I was able to seek God and look at my life objectively through His eyes, Marlo finally got what she had wanted and prayed for. She finally had me, and I thank God that it didnít take living in a cardboard box for me to finally get it. The first Christmas after that time in my life is one I will always cherish.
The best thing to remember about Christmas regardless of your circumstances is the angelís first words to the shepherds.
10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people. Ė Luke 2:10 AMP
Jesusí birth was not only good news then, it is good news now. Iím not preaching one of those you need Jesus now messages. I am saying that if you have a relationship with Him, then there is no need to fear or dread any circumstance in your life. Read Psalm Fifty-Six. David was in the middle of one of the biggest trials of his life, but his relationship with God saw him through.
Want to have a Christmas to remember? Put your trust in Him. Not only will this be your most memorable Christmas ever, but you will also have something in your heart that will bring you unquestionable joy. From Marlo and I and our family, we truly hope this will be a Christmas you will never forget.