Getting Ready to Receive, Day 1

In an effort to Worship Fully this Christmas season, I’ve decided to turn my blog into a devotional between now and Christmas Day. I’ll be writing most of the entries, but I have a few special guests who will also be contributing along the way. I hope you enjoy!

Getting Ready to Receive, Day 1

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” ~Luke 2:1, KJV

No one has to issue a decree these days for everyone to be taxed. We’re stretched, overburdened, overloaded and encumbered. And even if that wasn’t the kind of tax Caesar was referring to, I find it funny that the Christmas story begins with a taxed world. We can relate, can’t we?

This may be getting a little ahead in the story, but funnier still is the fact that when Jesus shows up in the Christmas story he decrees a “stop tax” of sorts (without saying a word, of course, babies can’t talk). When Jesus arrives, the shepherds walk off the job for a night, the wise men start ignoring orders from their leader, and it seems as though the whole world collectively takes a deep breath while the angels sing. Jesus shows up and says, “I got this. Cast your cares on me.”

What if instead of waiting for Christmas Day to take a deep breath, we decided to issue our own “stop tax” in order to get ready for more Jesus in our lives? We could do less instead of more. We could make better choices about the things and people we tell “yes,” and make better choices about the things and people we tell “no.” It’s like the story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus shows up at their door and one sister, Martha, gets so busy preparing for Jesus that she misses spending any time with him. Meanwhile, Mary skips all of the preparation (much to her sister’s annoyance) and spends all of her time with Jesus. Who do you think made the better choice?

Here’s an idea: sit down with your family or friends and make a list of all the things you don’t want to miss this Christmas season. Then, make another list of all the things you want to not do this Christmas season so you don’t feel quite so taxed. You can call it your “Christmas To-Don’t List.”

What’s on your Christmas list(s)?

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