I have a daily Bible reading plan that isn’t associated with any specific date around Christmas. This morning, it was an Easter story that God used to help guide me into the Christmas Season. Mark 15:15 finds Pontius Pilate looking for a way to exchange Barabbas to be executed rather than Jesus. However, Pontius Pilate was a crowd pleaser. Left to the whims of the crowd, Instead of the choosing the guilty prisoner, Barabbas, the crowd demanded Jesus.

Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. Mark 15:15

Theologically, we know this was part of God’s plan to redeem the world from their sin. The baby we are placing in mangers in our Nativity decorations, is the same Jesus who would die on a cross for us. But, it left me with a strong reminder. As I decorate, wrap, bake, clean and prepare my home and tables, am I more concerned with pleasing the crowd who will be attending or the hearts that need connections in my gatherings? Am I tending to relationships as carefully as I wrap Instagram inspired gift wrap? Will I linger in patience with someone rather than presenting crowd-pleasing recipes?

Let’s approach this Christmas Season with:

  • Heart prep over home prep
  • People over perfect decor
  • Respect over recipes
  • Compassion over correction
  • Lingering over lists
  • Presence over presents

Who are the crowds that you are wanting to please to gain their approval this Christmas? Do they align with pleasing God as you approach each cookie exchange, holiday meal and party? Let’s focus on pleasing the child we celebrate, Jesus.

Merry Christmas, Friends.

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