Hurrying Off

So they hurried off and found Mary and
Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

(Luke 2:16) 
Would I get everything done in time for
Christmas? I stared at my to-do list, feeling as if Christmas had sneaked up on
me after a busy Thanksgiving. Would I have the time to bake, entertain, and
finish up the Christmas cards and the semester’s schoolwork? The thoughts
dampened my joy at Christmas.
Over the next few days, in keeping with my
Advent tradition, I read Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of Jesus’ birth. The
words “They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying
in the manger” (Luke 2:16) kept coming back to me. 
I imagined the shepherds, terrified at
first, as a blinding light lit up the dark night sky. Then, spellbound, they
listened to the exquisite harmony of the angelic chorus, “Glory to God in the
highest.” As the last notes faded, I pictured the shepherds staring at each
other, eyes wide. The flocks bleated and scattered, as the shepherds, almost
falling over themselves, hurried off—to tackle their Christmas to-do lists—to
shop, bake, and decorate.
No! They hurried off to see the baby whose
birth the angels had announced. In fact, that baby—Jesus—was the sole focus of
every participant in that Christmas account. 
As that truth began to permeate my heart
in the following days, the chains of being busy with preparations for the
season began to snap and fall away. I bowed in prayer. “Lord, thank you for reminding
me that all that matters is you. Forgive me for getting sidetracked by
Christmas preparations. Help me hurry off to you this season and always.” 
What is your focus during Christmas?
Excerpted from School Is Where the
Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents
 by Anita Mellott, copyright © 2011
by Anita Mellott. Used by permission of Judson Press,
Author, and homeschooling
mom, Anita Mellott has post-graduate degrees in Communications and Journalism.
She worked as an editor with Habitat for Humanity International, and headed the
Department of Journalism at her alma mater in India. She blogs at 
From the Mango Tree.