Observation: The Birth of Jesus went down way different than how we celebrate it.
Application: The sentimentality of the xmas season gets in the way of the reality of Christ's birth. Today will bring some closure and finality to christmas for many. Maybe not tomorrow but definitely by Saturday, we can begin counting the xmas trees tossed in front of houses, because for many, xmas has come to a close. The stores will clearance all Christmas items and stop playing the xmas music (granted they started in october).
But for us, we have only begun to celebrate God with us. For us, this is not a close to a season it is the beginning, it is a start. It is a start of something new! Now that God has come to be among us, everything is different, everything is new.
The incarnation reality (God to be with us in flesh and blood) is a start of something new for us.
Today, people are longing for that something new but we all might be blinded by what gets in the way....the sentimentality of this child's birth.
It's not snowing, we might not play someone favorite hymn, some family members are unable to come, we might not get the gift we wanted.....yada, yada, yada, and yet Christ still comes to us to meet us in the manger. To be with us, at our most joy filled and at our most sorrowful.
Prayer: Oh, Come, Oh come Emmanuel.