Do You Have Time for Christmas?
Are you ready for Christmas? Or do you need a little more time to get ready? Christmas arrives on December 25 every 365 days, with an assortment of obligations, duties, activities, observances, and traditions compressed into our already frazzled lives. Christmas comes regardless.
Christmas is about a God who made time and came at the right time. God didn’t say, “I don’t have the time,” rather, he said, “I’ll make the time.”
But, will we make time for the real meaning of Christmas?
While he is not mentioned by name in the Bible, an innkeeper was confronted by a man and his pregnant wife. He turned them away saying he had no room for them. He didn’t have time for the Savior, because he was too busy. It was the census. The tiny hamlet was crowded and his was the only place for lodging. He had rooms to clean, food to serve, decorations to put up, towels to wash, people to care for. He wasn’t an evil man or unsympathetic, he was just busy, that’s all.
Standing in sharp contrast to the innkeeper was Herod, the King of the Jews. He was very old, very sick, and nearly dead. He was a dying man tottering on an unstable throne. Like all despots, he held tightly to the reins of power and brutally removed anyone who got in his way. Over the years he killed his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and even his own wife. The notion of a baby “born” king of the Jews was a direct threat to his throne. No wonder he tried to kill Jesus. In his eyes, he had no choice. It was kill or be killed. He didn’t have time for another rival. He was ready to kill anyone who was a threat, even a tiny, helpless baby.
A whole group of people who should have been aware of the timing of Jesus’ arrival was the chief priests and scribes. They were the theologians, the religious elite of Israel. They had studied the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They were encouraged to read the signs of the times for his arrival. They preached of a Deliverer, the Anointed One, which would come to eradicate the oppressors from their country. They were the theological experts, the guardians of spiritual truth, yet they never bothered to travel the five miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem to find out for themselves if the Messiah had indeed been born. Did they not care? Did they not need him? They were self-righteous, sickeningly arrogant. In fact, when Jesus began his public ministry, it was these same men that despised Jesus and ultimately plotted his murder.
One other group represents people in every age. They are the procrastinators. They obviously saw the star, heard of the baby, knew that something strange and wonderful was happening, and wanted to check it out, but never got around to it. They were going to do it—just later. They had the opportunity of a lifetime. The very Savior of the world was within their grasp, but they put off going to the manger to see the baby Jesus.
Procrastinators are in each generation. They know what they should do but fail to act because of a lack of urgency. “There’s no hurry,” they say. There is always tomorrow. It is communicated in such phrases as, “I’ll buy the gift after Christmas, when it goes on sale.” “I’ll write the thank you note after things slow down.” “I’ll see my Dad when the holidays are over. I’ll have more time then.” “I’ll make things right with my brother after the new year.” But, sometimes, tomorrow never comes. The opportunity is lost.
Do you have time for Christmas? If God made time for us, then we should make time for one another—our family, our friends, and our neighbors. While there is still time, let’s get ready for the real meaning and spirit of Christmas.
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