Advent Devotional ~ Dec. 5 by Julie Gaver

Luke 9: 1-6

It was three weeks before Christmas.  In my home – that represents “go-time.”  There were packages to be wrapped; Trees to bedazzle; Cookies to bake; Cards to address. The to-do list was very long and I worried about how I was ever going to accomplish it all. I had just had foot surgery and doctor’s orders required me to be off my feet for six weeks.
I learned something that holiday season…. My family knew how to do stuff! And what they couldn’t do, just didn’t get done.

And Christmas still came.

When I look back on that Christmas, over fifteen years ago, I realize it was one of the best Christmas’ my family shared together. The simplicity of that Christmas allowed us to focus more fully on the real reason for the season.

How often do we weigh ourselves down with activity? We go to great lengths (and stress) to accomplish everything that we think will help us make it the “best Christmas ever.”  But the Manger requires us to pack lightly and, rather, carry with us only an open heart and ardent willingness to share the good news.

The rest….. is just stuff.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of the Manger. We pray this holiday season that we come to you, unencumbered of the many things which distract us from your message. Help us to make this journey with hands that are still, hearts wide open, and voices poised to share the good news. Amen.

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