It's hard to believe that December is almost here. As I looked at the calendar this morning, the reality sunk in - and I realized I needed to get busy with all that needs to be done before Christmas. My initial response was to begin making plans for the next few weeks. But as I did so, I was reminded of the first Christmas, and how that event was missed by so many people because they were too wrapped up in their own plans.
Here's what I mean - when God decided to send His Son to this earth, He chose a time in history when there was an expansive empire ruling over most of the civilized world. This is significant both because this empire established a single language for everyone to use, and because they built an extensive road system that allowed for safe travel. Both of these factors allowed for the gospel message to spread quickly throughout the known world.
In addition to that, God also carefully planned which parents Jesus would be born to. The couple He chose were working class people from a small, insignificant town. But by choosing people from humble circumstances, God made sure that Jesus was accessible to the people He had come to save. He was a king, but He was a king born in a small town to everyday parents, making Him a King everyone could approach.
Those are just a few examples of the detailed significance behind God's plan for the first Christmas. We could talk at length about the others - but what they would all show us is that, when God sent us the gift of His Son, He did so according to a specific plan. The problem was that most of the people who were around then missed the event because they weren't looking for God's plan. And it's not because they were necessarily bad people, they were just so wrapped up in their own plans that they couldn't see God’s. And unfortunately, that's a mistake that many of us continue to make - especially during a busy time of year like Christmas.
So today, let's ask God to help us slow down and look for His plan for our holiday. Maybe He wants us to reach out to a neighbor, or help someone with a financial need, or invite a co-worker to church. Whatever it is, let's ask God to show His plan to us, and then help us to be obedient in following that plan. Let’s not be so focused on our plans and activities that we miss out on what could be something beautiful that God is working right in front of us.