In Luke 2, we see a variety of responses to the birth of Jesus. Simeon takes Jesus in his hands and praises God, the prophet Anna thanks God and speaks about the child "to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem". Earlier in this chapter the shepherds respond by "spreading the word" about what they have been told about Jesus. Interesting is Mary's response: "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
As we draw closer to Christmas, what will our response be to the birth of Jesus? Christmas is an immensely busy time as we prepare for the festivities and try to meet work deadlines. Like Martha we can all too easily find ourselves becoming distracted.
And yet, in Luke 2 we have a wonderful model of how we might choose to respond to the birth of Jesus this Christmas. Like Simeon and the prophet Anna we can dedicate the coming days to praise and thanksgiving. Like Mary we can take time out to meditate, allowing the significance of Jesus' birth to speak to us afresh. And like the shepherds we can share the amazing gift of life for those who turn to Jesus, thinking how to communicate with people of all faiths and none in our society.
The great evangelist George Whitefield was a man who deeply appreciated the birth of Jesus. Whitefield once said:
"You blame me for weeping....but how can I help it when you will not weep for yourselves although your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction, and for aught I know, you are hearing your last sermon and may never more have another opportunity to have Christ offered to you?"
This Christmas let us think how we will choose to respond to the birth of Jesus.
Manoj Raithatha is an entrepreneur and leads the South Asian Forum of the Evangelical Alliance