Devotionals

Iconic Christmas | Youth Ministry Devotions

Youth Ministry Devotions

“Iconic Christmas”

As a child, my favorite movie (not just Christmas movie) was White Christmas.

It is a musical/romantic comedy that was released in 1954 starring Bing Crosby.

If the year 1954 makes you say “ew” and you don’t know who Bing Crosby is then just think of Elf in the year 2066. The comparison is probably minimal, but you get the point.

White Christmas is a favorite because it is everything nostalgic, magical, and lovely about the Christmas season.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Baking Christmas cookies.

Decorating the tree while drinking hot chocolate.

The ones you love are around, happy and getting along.

We are singing along to songs that only come on once a year, but if you’re honest you know Bieber’s “Mistletoe” is an everyday favorite…

For most of us, this year, the Christmas season brought the whimsy of snow.

It’s like everything stops. In the silence and the weight of uniquely formulated ice crystals we are mesmerized that our hearts can feel something so majestic. So much like a real life Narnia.

When I think about how my heart stops in the midst of settled snow, glimmering and glistening, I think about how the Magi must have felt when the caught sight of the star.

It’s an iconic Christmas, a Christmas miracle.

But what happens when Christmas doesn’t feel like something so widely recognizable or whimsical at all?

Sometimes our Christmas cookies turn out more like a #PinterestFail.

It’s too soon to laugh, but we will laugh some day when the memory pops up on Facebook.

Maybe that’s is the least of our worries because the people we love aren’t happy and getting along.

Maybe Christmas songs drive us nutty because we feel like it’s a fairy tale dream stained with grief, unmet expectations, and falsified realities.

If you take a moment, like the pause in the snow or looking up to see the bright star in the sky, do you remember how beautiful it is that the King of kings came to us in the most intimate, vulnerable and simplistic way?

He was a gift greater than the gold, frankincense or myrrh.

A gift that we still receive as the greatest gift we could ever ask for,

that can’t be put under the tree.

Today is Christmas, friends, and whether or not you are running around nearly crying tears of joy at the site of a strand of Christmas lights like Buddy the Elf or you are flat out disappointed I think it’s important for us to strip away the garland and

remember the true meaning of Christmas.

When we look at it, it wasn’t really all that magical to begin with.

The magic came with something else…something unexpected but so desperately needed.

The miracle outshined the mess.

So much so, the “mess” didn’t really even seem like a mess at all.

So let’s remember, together…

First of all when Mary figured out that she was pregnant,

her and Joseph weren’t even married.

Joseph was planning on divorcing Mary quietly until he received confirmation that it was ok. Her pregnancy was a miracle of God, an intentional plan, even though it didn’t come in the most conventional way. (Matthew 1:18-19)

Amongst shocking news, an angel relayed the message to Joseph that

His son would be a Savior. Joseph accepted Jesus as his Son.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,

because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

Joseph and Mary had to register for the census.

Then Joseph willingly took Mary ALL OVER the place from Nazareth to Judea to Bethlehem while she was pregnant and ready to birth a child. Which in turn, kept them out of danger in relation to a threatened king. (Luke 2:4, Matthew 2:13)

Mary gave birth to a Son.

Lowly and humble our Savior came.

Finally when Jesus came into the world, there was no place for Mary and Joseph to go. There was no Airbnb, no beautifully decorated Marriott.

So Mary wrapped Him, her miracle child who would soon take the place of us all, in strips of cloth and placed Him in a manger. (Luke 2:6-7)

Yet Mary didn’t know that her first acts of motherhood would become

distinguishable characteristics for those traveling to hear of and worship the coming King.

With her devotion, sensitivity and willingness she created a gathering place,

to meet the One they had all been waiting for.

The Magi followed the brightest star.

They followed it to the Messiah, the one who was called Immanuel.

He who was now God with us.

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (Matthew 2:10)

The shepherds told others about this child, born unto us, and they were amazed.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:19-20

Heaven swept low and the coming King came to join us.

He meets us here.

He was and still is the miracle in our mess.

He was and is and is to come.

He is the Hope of the world.

The magic of Christmas is in the Miracle.

Who was given as the most perfect Gift to the rebel race in need of a Savior, born in a manger.  

Christmas is here, and regardless of how picturesque or not, our Savior has come.

Meet the author

Celeste Elizabeth

Celeste Elizabeth

Celeste Elizabeth is honored to be a writer for BigStufs blog, but this isnt her first interaction with the summer camp. She was an intern in 2014, came back as summer staff in 2015, and has since been writing for BigStufs blog. Even though her home is in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs working for Red Rock Church as their Communication and Programming Director, she considers BigStuf family and will partner with them whenever she gets the chance! Celeste is a major fan of coffee, a lover of books and words, and is incredibly passionate about the next generation. Check out more of her writing at thecelesteelizabeth.com!

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