What an interesting contrast in this week's Bible Lesson on Christ Jesus. We see how people reacted to learning that the Messiah had come. Joseph is not at first prepared to accept this pregnancy but is unwilling to see Mary mistreated. He gets a visit from an angel, most likely Gabriel, and is reassured that this is indeed a holy child from the Lord. The Wise Men or Magi read of his coming in the stars and immediately set out on a long journey to follow the star and pay him homage. They find him and present costly gifts, which are going to come in handy very soon. King Herod is very upset when the Magi ask him if he knows where they can find the child. His reaction once they do not return with the information is to order the death of all little boys 2 years old and younger in an attempt to eliminate this rival. Simeon, a just and devote reader of the Old Testament has been promised that he will live to see the arrival of the Messiah and he recognizes Jesus when Mary and Joseph bring him to the Temple. His response is deep joy and gratitude.
How are we reacting or responding during the days and weeks leading up to Christmas? Are we cherishing this news and eagerly anticipating more of the Christ in our own lives? It is a wonderful time to pray daily for those who are traveling over the holidays. It is a time to quiet all the Herod-like thinking we hear being expressed by those who just think Christmas is a hassle and bother. It is a time to prepare our own gifts with a renewed thought about what we are giving and why. Are we loving generously and receiving graciously? Do we spare a moment each day to ponder the Scriptural account of the Nativity?
May your day be merry and bright and filled with love for the Christ and its message of peace on earth, good will toward men.