Some years I get all caught up in the warm fuzzies of Christmas. My eyes tear up during candlelight service on Christmas Eve. I read the Christmas story with wonder. I am inspired to share the Gospel with friends and neighbors after remembering that my God chose to take on human flesh. But some years the story seems too familiar. My to-do list seems too important. I want to get caught up in Christmas cheer, but I find myself thinking, I’m just not feeling it.
Does that ever happen to you? Are there times when you feel like you should be having an emotional response to Jesus, but your feelings don’t seem to have gotten the memo? As I’ve spent time reading the Christmas story this year, I’ve been struck by the fact that the major players in the greatest event in history didn’t respond to Jesus out of pure emotion.
Mary’s introduction to motherhood likely wasn’t filled with the warm fuzzies that most new mommas have. She was unmarried. She hadn’t planned this baby. And yet she obeyed the instructions given to her by the angel, Gabriel.
If Joseph had let his feelings be his guide, he might have let anger or shame or fear of man keep him from being Jesus’ dad. He chose to play a major part in Jesus’ life regardless of his emotions.
The wise men took a very long trek to worship Jesus. They didn’t even know exactly who they were looking for. They didn’t see Baby Jesus and get all wrapped up in the emotion of the moment. They knew a Savior was coming, and they made the decision to respond.
I don’t doubt that there was plenty of emotion in the manger on the day of Jesus’ birth. But I am also struck by all of the players in this story who responded to Jesus because He is worthy, not just because they were caught up in the emotion of the day.
There’s a lesson there for each of us. Following Jesus doesn’t always feel just right. There are times He asks us to do things that our emotions will never confirm. And there are times when we should worship Him simply because He is so worthy instead of because we are caught up in the emotions of the moment.
Will you choose to worship Jesus this Christmas? Even if the holiday cheer evades you, will make the decision to turn your heart toward Him because He is worthy? Will you love Him out of awe for who He is and what’s He’s done even if you’re not feeling it?