How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you have a large crowd gathered together for the Thanksgiving meal or was it a more intimate?  We had family and friends and enjoyed our time together eating, laughing and playing board games.
What about the day after Thanksgiving?  Did you participate in Black Friday shopping?
About 10:30 p.m. my son looked at me and said, “Hey, Mom, let’s go!”  Let’s go where? It was 10:30 p.m. Where on earth did he want to go? He felt we needed to get in the middle of the Black Friday chaos, which really started on Thursday this year, for the experience of it. I did what any mother of a freshman in college who was asked to spend time with her child would do. I grabbed my purse and we were off. I could care less about the Black Friday shopping, but I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to spend time with my son, especially if he was requesting it.
Just before midnight, we were standing in the cold outside of Belk, waiting for the doors to be unlocked. They had a sale on something I thought my daughter would like for Christmas. I figured, since we’re out, we might as well make the most of it. When they unlocked the doors at midnight, a thousand people (no joke, they reported it later) flooded into the department we were headed for and began grabbing, pushing, and shoving for bargains. I looked around at the madness and knew I had to get out of it or I was going to scream. After great effort on my part, I managed to find an escape route and stood by the perfume counter watching the chaos in utter disbelief.
My son, asked me to show him the item we were looking for, the size and color. Then he announced, “I’m going in!”  He wound his way through the crowd like Jack Sparrow, which caused a great deal of laughter. He discovered they placed the extra items under the tables, so he would find the table with the size item we needed then duck down and secure the item. When he found it, he would pop up and announce, “Score!” and make his way back to me. He was hilarious. At one point, he pulled his phone out and began playing the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean as he made his way through the crowd. To him it was a competition of sorts and he was victorious. I couldn’t help but look at the mass of humanity swarming around the tables grabbing all they could carry and wonder, “Is this what Christmas has come to?”
Somehow I don’t think of Jesus when I think of noise, crowds or chaos. When Jesus arrived, He didn’t show up in a grand stand fashion. He came in a quiet, unassuming way:
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [Luke 2:1-14, KJV].
While it’s fun to go shopping in the boisterous malls and shopping centers for gifts to give and gather for jovial Christmas parties and family gatherings, take time to find the quiet of Christmas. That’s where you’ll find Jesus. In the quiet… He’s always there. Take time from the chaos to find Him and experience the true meaning of the Christmas.