Luke 1:38 – "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. (NIV)
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (NIV)
Being a parent again is awesome, but it also changes one's focus. Plans revolve around this little one. My work schedule must co-ordinate with his school hours. Challenges and decisions focus on his best interest. Chores within the home situation are almost doubled and the budget is stretched. All in all, there is very little time left to focus on just me and what I want.
As I was contemplating this huge change that has come with the blessing of a child, I found myself thinking of another Child.
Christ came to earth as a babe in a manger, and with His coming, the whole world was offered the opportunity to change focus.
It began with Mary and Joseph. Mary chose to focus by faith on what the angel told her, as did Joseph. Their main focus was no longer themselves and their upcoming wedding celebration, but Christ.
The shepherds' focus changed, too. They left their flocks in the field, to centre upon Jesus in the stable. Such focus led to a spontaneous spreading of the good news of His birth to all their friends and neighbours.
Wise men left their homes from afar to seek the new-born King, due to a change in their focus from the natural to the supernatural, as revealed by a star.
Yes, Christ began to change the focus of people on earth from the moment of His conception. For those who chose, by faith, to look away from themselves to the promised Saviour of mankind, something eternal happened. The old was gone and the new had come. A gift was given and received. Condemnation from sin's death penalty was exchanged for eternal life, as Emmanuel, God with us, blossomed forth within each new believer.
Focus: where is mine as Christmas approaches? Is Christ still my centre? Or do I need to refocus? Where is yours?
The gift of new life offered through the Christ Child so long ago is still free for the asking. All anyone has to do is to choose, by faith, to change their focus.
Prayer: Lord God, how we are blessed by the gift of Christ, who chose to focus on us by leaving His throne above and be born as a babe in a humble manger. Thank You for this marvellous and eternal blessing, who is available to each and every one who is willing by faith to change their focus. May hearts and lives be changed today and throughout this Christmas season, as people say, "Yes!" to Emmanuel, God with us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.