This time of year we are uniquely inundated with a variety of social events: work parties, school concerts, community outreach events and family gatherings. We want to be able to see everyone and be everywhere for everything. Even as I write this it sounds exhausting! The issue laden within these scheduling conundrums is the underlying expectations that are both explicitly stated or, maybe worse, hidden beneath the surface. How can we please both God and humans? Paul addresses this question in Galatians 1:10 where he asks, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Unfortunately, the answer is that we likely cannot please both. Rather than being moved by the pressures of people we can instead choose to be motivated by the love of Jesus.
We might shrink from this idea in our humanness as we contemplate possible reactions of those in our lives that might not understand our choices. However, we are reminded in looking at the birth of Christ that the celebration happened where Jesus was! Both the Magi and shepherds went to find Him, where He was, and were blessed in return. It says that after the angels appeared to the shepherds they “hurried off” from their fields outside the town of Bethlehem. But what about the sheep? What about their responsibilities? The expectations of the sheep owners? We don’t know what actions they took in response to their human obligations but we do know that they were following what was most important: the call to go and see the new born king Jesus. As a result, they gloried in the confirmation of God’s revelation to them but also were compelled to share the good news with others! Isn’t this what Jesus wants for us this time of year? May we magnify the expectation of meeting Him over and above the meeting the expectation of others.
Authored By Katie Rivera of The Baton Pass