Hebrews 2:12 – I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises. (NIV 2011)
Around the time when I got my driver's license, my parents had an opportunity to buy a second car. A bright orange 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, close in age to me, joined the station wagon in our driveway. The "bug" was like a small tank, so solid — a great car!
Growing up in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, we very seldom experienced a white Christmas. Usually, it was raining and relatively mild. One year, however, we woke up on Christmas Day to a blanket of snow. Everything was quiet, and the roads were deserted.
We always attended the Christmas Day service at our church, which was a much smaller service than the one we went to on Christmas Eve. It was always magical to worship in a church filled to the rafters on Christmas Eve, but it was equally wonderful to worship as a smaller group on Christmas Day. On both occasions, the church rang with the voices of the people singing praises to God to welcome the baby Jesus, Who came to dwell among us "fully human in every way" (Hebrews 2:17 NIV 2011).
On that snowy Christmas Day, my sisters and I wondered if we would make it to the Christmas Day service. However, snow was not going to deter us. After all, we had spent our first Christmas in Canada in frigid Winnipeg, Manitoba. My dad decided that the bug was a better bet for driving in the snow, so the five of us piled in.
We arrived at the church and unloaded, much like clowns at a circus who keep appearing out of a car that surely must be too small to have room for yet another passenger. We had made it, and we were able to celebrate, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, that God sent His Son to live among people like us.
There are times in our lives when barriers make it hard to declare the name of Jesus and sing praises with others. Sometimes, weather gets in our way, but often, it is distractions that are barriers. Although Christmastime can be filled with wonderful opportunities to gather with family and friends for festive cheer, yet through all the hustle and bustle, we can easily forget that our primary focus should be on giving thanks to God for the precious gift of His Son. What barriers do you need to break down this season so that you can be filled with joyful praise to God?
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to live among us. Fill our Christmastime with praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "O Holy Night" (Lyrics)