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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hurrying Off


So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. (Luke 2:16) 
Would I get everything done in time for Christmas? I stared at my to-do list, feeling as if Christmas had sneaked up on me after a busy Thanksgiving. Would I have the time to bake, entertain, and finish up the Christmas cards and the semester’s schoolwork? The thoughts dampened my joy at Christmas.
Over the next few days, in keeping with my Advent tradition, I read Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ birth. The words “They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger” (Luke 2:16) kept coming back to me. 
I imagined the shepherds, terrified at first, as a blinding light lit up the dark night sky. Then, spellbound, they listened to the exquisite harmony of the angelic chorus, “Glory to God in the highest.” As the last notes faded, I pictured the shepherds staring at each other, eyes wide. The flocks bleated and scattered, as the shepherds, almost falling over themselves, hurried off—to tackle their Christmas to-do lists—to shop, bake, and decorate.
No! They hurried off to see the baby whose birth the angels had announced. In fact, that baby—Jesus—was the sole focus of every participant in that Christmas account. 
As that truth began to permeate my heart in the following days, the chains of being busy with preparations for the season began to snap and fall away. I bowed in prayer. “Lord, thank you for reminding me that all that matters is you. Forgive me for getting sidetracked by Christmas preparations. Help me hurry off to you this season and always.” 
What is your focus during Christmas?
Excerpted from School Is Where the Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents by Anita Mellott, copyright © 2011 by Anita Mellott. Used by permission of Judson Press, www.judsonpress.com.
Author, and homeschooling mom, Anita Mellott has post-graduate degrees in Communications and Journalism. She worked as an editor with Habitat for Humanity International, and headed the Department of Journalism at her alma mater in India. She blogs at From the Mango Tree.

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