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Susan Bunts Wachtel
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It wasn’t a fiery sermon preached from the pulpit, but instead a verse from the precious Christmas hymn, "Away in a Manger". The words stopped in my throat…and I could only whisper them…mouth the words as tears filled my eyes.
“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”
Those words brought me up short and I realized I had gotten it all wrong. It was Christmas and I hadn’t made room for Jesus.
Oh there was time to decorate and attend Christmas festivities. I made time to make a list and check it twice…and shop for just the right gifts. I slipped in some Christmas concerts and even a party on the sparkling waters of Newport Beach.
But I didn’t make time for my Savior.
I enjoyed Christmas lights…but didn’t delight in the Light of the world.
Oh I attended church and Bible study and even prayed. But I didn’t seek special time to spend with Jesus…to thank Him for what He has done for me. In all the hustle and bustle of the season…I didn’t share the Good News of Gospel with someone who is overwhelmed or hurting or alone for the first time.
I didn’t spend time reading the story of Jesus’ most miraculous birth as God became man. He who is fully God and fully man…this One who was born to die. Willing to submit Himself unto the Father’s plan…in order to redeem me, buy me back and save me from my sin.
Everything I have…everything I am comes from Him. And I didn’t give Him the one thing I can offer…my time.
When I look at the gifts I received and the things I most treasure from this Christmas…it was time spent with friends…just chatting. Sometimes about important things…more often than not…it was just about stuff. Nothing earth shaking…but just time spent caring for one another.
If that’s what I enjoyed the most…why would I think my Lord and Savior wouldn’t love that too?
What I missed the most…was spending time with friends...talking and catching up…or getting away for a while from the hustle and bustle and demands that never end. Focusing on another…listening and carrying their burdens for a while.
Jesus gave His life so that I might live…He bore the penalty for my sins upon His body. He gave His all…and didn’t even give Him my time.
My foolish investment of time and energy made what is so precious…devoid of real meaning. If only I had focused on Christ…how might the rest of time and relationships have been during this season? Christ centered, peaceful, joyful, walking in love, mindful of the real reason behind the celebration. Walking in manner worthy of my high calling…and aiming to please my Savior…to bring Him joy.
When I really love someone…don’t I find great joy and happiness in pleasing them and making them happy? Won’t it be more so when I please Jesus?
Oh Jesus…I’m sorry I made no room for You this Christmas. Jesus I ask You, please don’t let me do this again…to walk so foolishly. May I be ever mindful of the treasure You are…and hold onto You and value You…and never let You go.
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