By this time tomorrow most of the United States will be covered by a blanket of wrapping paper. I can picture in my mind that the responsible member of house is standing by with a snow shovel ready to plow through a brightly colored avalanch of Christmas joy. Great care must be taken during this task lest small chilchildren be lost within an embankment paper and empty boxes. It’s easy to be swept up in the trappings of the celebration when you are only two feet tall. As an adult, it’s easy to to get lost in the excitement and preperation of the season. We have a tendency to focus on the doings and overlook the beings. I imagine that when the angel visited the shepherds that they may not have noticed at first. Tending livestock requires multitasking. Hedges must be maintained, animals are constantly wandering off, adequate food and water needs to be available and sibling rivalry has to quelled. Its very much like managing a family gathering. The Herald Angel would have needed to use that trumpet to get everyone’s attention. “HEY, OVER HERE! EVERYONE FOLLOW ME! WE’RE HEADING INTO TOWN TO SEE THE BABY JESUS!”
When they arrive there is more chaos. The sheep are still wondering off, the wisemen’s camel train has taken over the parking and now the cattle are lowing. Mary would have been a nervous wreck without the grace of God. Everybody is there to see the precious gift laying in a manger. The noise and clamor of the inn fade away into the night as the baby opens his eyes and the true gift is realized.
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement. There are plenty of distractions. Everything from twenty-four hour T.V. specials to making dinner and enjoying the surprises under the tree. Take a little time to stop and let all these things fade into the background and appreciate the true gift of Christ.