Planning on Christmas Eve

Nac Naz Devotional

“While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 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.” (Luke 2: 6-7)

You can ask Jess and she will tell you… I’m a planner. When it comes to anything. From the weekend, to grocery shopping. It annoys her, and she doesn’t want to shop with me… darn, haha!

I like to have a blueprint in place that will help me know how to make the most efficient use of my time and energy. I like to manage my time well because that is something I cannot get back. Some people might find that to be extra, but I find it comforting. And nothing frustrates me more than when a well-constructed plan falls apart. It’s those moments that open the door for errors or mistakes, which in my mind easily makes the jump to “failure.” And failure is never an option. Don’t like that word.

When reading the story of Jesus’ birth, I’ve often wondered what Mary and Joseph were thinking and feeling as they arrived in Bethlehem and were unable to find the living space that maybe they were hoping for. While we don’t know their exact plan after arriving in Bethlehem, I’m pretty sure it didn’t include laying Jesus in a feeding trough after he was born. Regardless of his make-shift crib, Jesus birth was no less miraculous. His arrival on this earth was made no less meaningful. His first moments and cries no less special. It was that powerful moment that ultimately changed life as we know it, and it didn’t take everything going according to plan to make it so.

Tomorrow as you get busy gathering with friends and family, orchestrating food for the family, and making sure that everyone has the holiday experience they were hoping for, I invite you to pause. In that moment stop thinking about what comes next, or perhaps what didn’t quite pan out earlier that day. PAUSE. Set aside the plan. Breathe in the hope of a newborn savior. Remember the peace that he brings with him. Celebrate the joy that his birth offers. And share the love that inspired it all. Make that plan now.

Pastor Joe Ward
Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

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