The Nativity’s Reminder

December! The Christmas season, one of the times we collectively reflect and lift our hearts in worship, can often be sapped of its joy by busyness, stress, and “all the things”. Though many of us long for simpler holidays, the reality of community and family commitments can still leave us feeling stretched. On those days, it’s more likely we’ll identify with Martha than Mary.

How can I worship when I don’t feel very joyful?

One way I can re-center myself for worship during the sometimes-stressful season, is to study and meditate on the nativity. Growing up, we had a carved, wooden nativity set. The wood must have been scented with frankincense because I can still remember its aroma as we unpacked it from the attic each year. I loved the feel of the rough animals as I arranged and rearranged the figures. It was a plain set, with three groups of worshipers:

The shepherds…

…were overcome by grace in their boring, everyday, routine. Settling down for the night, on their guard for predators, they were illuminated by glory. The miracle found them in the darkness, and changed their plans. When I think of the shepherds, I think of how the Lord meets me where I am: in the middle of my to-do list, in the inconveniences of life, in the mundane. Like those faithful caretakers, I want to see His glory and change my plans to seek Him out.

The Magi…

…fascinate me. Veiled in mystery, tinged with alchemy, they walked through the territory where faith and science overlap. Captivated by what they could see and study, they set out on a journey to find the unknown. These pilgrims literally stepped out in faith, putting their reputations, wealth, and beliefs on the line. When I think of the Magi, I’m reminded that the Creator is the only One with the answers to all my questions. He inspires my own creativity, and I want to worship Him with my work.

The angels…

…emblazoned their worship across the skies. By telling of His powerful plan for redemption, I get to be a part of an intricate and all-encompassing design, too. Its goal? Love and family and completeness. The rightness of His plan is humbling and inspires awe and worship. When I think of the angels, I am emboldened and filled with love and passion. With them, I want to proclaim God’s powerful goodness to anyone who’s hungry to hear it.

Like the widow’s mite, sometimes our small worship is the most powerful gesture of love we can offer.

[tweetshare tweet=”Sometimes our small worship is the most powerful gesture of love we can offer. ” username=”Grace_and_Such”]

No matter what my feelings tell me, God’s power, love, and grace are constant. If I focus on his mercy and faithfulness and awesome creative power, gratitude wells up within me, followed naturally by adoration – worship. When I study the nativity, I’m reminded of what the song says, “O, come, let us adore Him!”

During the Christmas season, even when you feel sad or overwhelmed, what are some ways you re-center yourself to worship the King of Kings?


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Cole Smith
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  1. Beth Bingaman on December 14, 2018 at 7:13 AM

    Thanks Cole, I have not gotten there this year but I do appreciate the focus or recentering idea here. Hopefully, staying focused on the Truth will keep me from getting there. Merry Christmas!

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on December 14, 2018 at 6:42 PM

      Thanks, Beth! Merry Christmas to you! I heard two women talking today, both saying how fast Christmas was coming this year. I know Dave Ramsey says they never change the date, it’s always December 25th, but I have to agree with those women, haha.

  2. Becky Preston on December 14, 2018 at 7:33 AM

    “Like the widow’s mite, sometimes our small worship is the most powerful gesture of love we can offer.” Love this reminder that we can worship however we can and whenever we can, and it is all good!

  3. Sarah Robinson on December 14, 2018 at 4:55 PM

    Like the song implores, I fall on my knees (most often at my bedside) and just simply invoke God’s holy presence. And I let Him take it from there.
    Last night, out on the deck waiting for the dog to return from her last “outing” of the day, and the stars were “brightly shining” and I hadn’t lately, been taking much notice of them.
    These small gestures work Christmas magic for me.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Cole // Cole Smith Writes on December 14, 2018 at 6:45 PM

    Yes! I want to savor all the Christmas moments <3

  5. Aliel on December 15, 2018 at 8:39 AM

    I love your description of the Magi! As I endeavor to look past the mountain of grading before me to the celebration of Christmas just beyond, my spirit is re-awakened to the desire to be overcome by the wonder and mystery that never is fully understood – no matter how many times we reflect on the story and its almost inexpressible significance.

    • Cole // Cole Smith Writes on January 2, 2019 at 6:48 PM

      Thanks, friend! Ugh, grading. I should have done some over break but I put it off. Might be sorry later, but it’s been nice this week-and-a-half!

      I can majorly geek out researching the magi. Every year it seems like I fall down the wiki hole 🙂

      “…the wonder and mystery that never is fully understood…” <–Love that!

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