Christmas Day is coming.
It's coming oh so quickly!
However, the Christmas season has been with us for a while.
We who have shops on Etsy have been planning our Christmas
products and sales since July....
most likely.

So then all of a sudden we are within nine days of 
this most beloved Holiday and I find myself 
finally able to turn my attention to the enjoyment
and celebrations which celebrate my Savior's birth.

Sunday afternoon found us taking turns 
practicing music for next week's special 
Christmas service.

 Sunday evening found my Mom, 
Mother in law, my daughter and I at Starbucks.
We discussed many things including the guest list 
for our Christmas Dinner.
I'm not done with the shopping yet.
Since I'm not done with the shopping
I'm definitely not done with the wrapping either.
In church we are celebrating the weeks of the Advent.
Today our topic was Joy.
One of my favorites.
Life is really too short to waste a lot of time
on anger, bitterness or other non-joyful thoughts.
We had our 5th Annual Ladies Christmas Tea.
It was delightful.
Warren's work Christmas party was pretty sweet.
We will go caroling at a local nursing home 
on Christmas Eve.
All of these things are preparation.
They are the things that get our juices primed for the big event.
Mary's prep looked a bit different.
She and Joseph had to take a journey.
Really, they had to because they lived in Nazareth and
it had been prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
In His amazing ways God ensured that Baby Jesus would 
make his entry in that now famous town.
And he used what of all things?
A census.
So, there they were traveling together at Mary's most 
vulnerable time.  I imagine Joseph must have been 
very attentive to Mary's needs.
Jostling on a donkey for hours on end couldn't have 
been any more pleasant than searching for that perfect 
gift for the person on our list who needs nothing.
(Of course we all have things in our
shops for just such a dilemma)
Finally they arrive in Bethlehem
and of course you know the story.
No room at the Inn.....
well, none of the inns.  
It was one very full town.
There was certainly no hopping online 
for reservations in those days.
No...just a knock on the door upon your arrival.
So planning ahead wasn't an option.
But, 
none of this mattered to our Heavenly Father.
He had it all in hand from the beginning.
Not only did He have a stable for a shelter
but Angels in place to invite the Shepherds to come
and celebrate a baby's birth.
He placed a special light in the sky which
led Potentates from far off to come and see the 
Christ Child.
God did a lot of preparations for that special day.
I don't believe for a second that the stable was Plan B.
It was accessible.
It was humble.
It was real.
The town was right.
The baby was perfect.
He remained so.
Right up to the very day that He sacrificed His life
for the sins of those He loved.
But Jesus, being God, would not remain dead.
On the third day He rose having defeated death.
And one day we will spend each and every "day" in His 
presence if we have accepted His very special gift of 
redemption and adoption.
You see, 
the whole story is so important.
It is not enough to celebrate the birth of a baby.
As great as that was.
It is also not enough to celebrate His death.
As necessary as that was.
What really sealed the deal was His resurrection.
That stone rolling away from the tomb was
vitally important.
All things that God knew would come
and yet He sent His son,
His precious only son.
To suffer the humiliation of walking 
this earth as a human being.
And we will celebrate the beginning of the story
on December 25th.
We'll share gifts which remind us of the 
greatest gift ever given
and of the Wise Men who came to honor Him.
We'll sing songs which will remind us that the angels sang
to common shepherds inviting them to be the first to 
see the savior.
We'll eat sweets.
Because we can!
We'll either enjoy or suffer through 
the family reunions 
so common to Christmas Day.
We'll fellowship with other believers.
But most of all we will treasure the knowledge that....
He came because He loved us!
He loved us first.
He loved us best. 
From a manger to a rolling stone.
True story!

Becky - Good Neighbors Candle Co.

Comments (12)

On December 17, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Vee said...

"Life is really too short to waste a lot of time on anger, bitterness or other non-joyful thoughts."

Amen to that!

Talk about a great encapsulation of the story of Christ. Well done. I continually marvel that He was willing to come and be "one of us" and that he remains Emmanuel...God with us. Thanks for this wonderful post.

 
On December 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM , The REAL EverSewSweet said...

Thank you, Becky!

 
On December 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM , Handiworkin' Girls said...

Delightful reminder of the reason for the preparation of Advent. Thank you, Becky! Merry Christmas!

 
On December 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Sheila said...

Oh Becky, I love how you told the story. Thank young much.

 
On December 17, 2012 at 5:31 PM , Theresa said...

How sweet it is:) Love the story AND the title!I am so very thankful that I know this story, believe it ALL the way from the Manger to the Rolling Stone! Have a blessed week dear friend, HUGS!

 
On December 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM , Sue Runyon said...

Manger to Rolling Stone. Love it.

 
On December 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM , Cynthia said...

I absolutely loved this post and the title! Thank you, Becky!

 
On December 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM , Gayla said...

Excellent devotion... Love it.

 
On December 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM , Z said...

I like this. Thank you.

 
On December 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM , Deb (Two Cheeky Monkeys) said...

Thank you God for sending your one and only son Jesus to save us from our sins!

 
On December 19, 2012 at 8:26 AM , Rachel said...

Thank you for this thought-provoking, inspirational post!

 
On December 24, 2012 at 1:22 AM , pfd said...

Awesome