Advent Devotional - December 25
...And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
This Christmas, we will come from North and South and East and West via planes, trains, and automobiles to be with our families or our claimed families. In the holiest moments of our lives we too gather around those we love. We gather on this Christmas morning not only because of our familial traditions, but we also gather because of the example the magi set for us.
When the magi received word of the Christ child's birth, they did not speed up to finish cleaning or make the final visit to grab stocking stuffers; they stopped. They gathered together at the foot of the manger without regard for everything else that filled their lives. It was an act of worship that became one of the holiest moments of their lives. Friends, when we gather with family on this day, it can feel like the completion of our to do lists: presents bought, wrapped, and opened. Groceries purchased, prepared, and dinner had. But if we follow the magi then our gathering will become an act of worship. We too will stop, surrounded by those we love, to recognize the depth of our gratitude for the gifts of the Christ child.
The love and joy and peace that the magi gave thanks for thousands of years ago are the same gifts given to us today, even two thousand years later.
About the Author
Rev. Matthew Ruffner is the Senior Pastor at PHPC. He and his wife Sarah have two children, Olivia and Elliott.