Christmas and salvation

Despite the busyness of holiday celebration, we should watch and listen for the presence of the healing Christ.

It was Christmas. Friends and family were coming soon. I needed time to clean the house and to plan and prepare meals for our company. But I also needed time to pray. Others with busy schedules told me they were facing the same challenge. Daily tasks, holiday preparations, and prayer for universal salvation—could they possibly go together?

I found the answer tucked in the Christmas story itself. In loving detail the Bible describes the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. In Luke we read, "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." To them the angel announced, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8, 11. The humble shepherds, who were obediently doing their job, were the first to hear and then carry to others the glorious news of the birth of the Saviour. To me this was an indication that as we fulfill the demands of daily living from a spiritual basis, we too can participate in God's plan of salvation for all mankind.

The shepherds were "abiding" in the field, "keeping watch" over their flock. Such simple words, yet to me they convey not so much a place as an attitude, a state of consciousness. They suggest a peacefulness, receptiveness, gentle caring, and alertness, all characteristics of a prayerful consciousness. As I quietly pondered this story, I realized that prayer is not so much an activity taking place in some room apart as it is a spiritual state of thought. So we can pray as effectively in the kitchen or office as we do in the study. Effective prayer and the legitimate demands of daily living are not exclusive of each other. Instead, when we embrace these demands in prayer, we experience more of the joy of salvation.

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Messiah's gift to you
December 22, 1986

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