Gracious Lord, thank you for giving me the best gift of all: the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Make the Christmas story come alive for me this year in ways that I have never experienced before. Direct me not to get so wrapped up in the details of presents, parties, decorations, and being with family and friends that I miss out on what You are wanting to speak to me about in this season.
Like the shepherds, direct me to see and respond to Your presence and direction with immediate action. Luke 2:15 "So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger." Like the wise men, give me the courage to follow You, even in a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to the things of God.
Thank you for the many reminders the Christmas story brings about Your character. You can do the impossible (like causing a virgin to bear Your Son). You use ordinary, unexpected people and circumstances to accomplish Your plan (like Mary and the shepherds, and Jesus being born in a stable). You are Immanuel (God with us). Thank you for everything Christmas means, and for all of the traditions and celebrations that come along with it.
In Jesus' holy Name, Amen.