I am working with our children for our Christmas musical. During one recent practice I had just the script people working on memorization. As we were going through the script I noticed it was getting flat during the telling of the birth of Jesus Christ. By that I mean that there was no emotion, no joy, nothing. Lines were being read but they were losing their meaning. I stopped the kids and encouraged them to read and say the lines as if it was for the first time. They had read these lines dozens of times. We had gone over them many times as a group. At this point the lines were not new. The emotion was lost. It was cold. Reading back through it as if it were the first time brought joy and warmth back to the script. We laughed and carried on but we all learned something valuable that day.
The familiar has a way of losing its meaning.
We see this problem in many ways. A marriage grows cold as romance lessens and familiarity grows. While you would think that the more we know the hotter things get, it actually works the opposite if we do not work at it. The job you were so passionate to get becomes routine and boring. The adrenaline rush you once had from attempting certain feats lessens and you have to keep doing things bigger and more dangerous. Even in church we find ourselves yawning and looking at our watch. Worship does not just happen to you. Worship is what you do toward a Holy God. We must work at it. The Bible has become something we know but not something we let change us. We have grown cold to the calls of the Holy Spirit through Scripture. Even the story of the birth of Jesus Christ has grown stale for many in light of cultural standards of relativism and consumerism.
The fact that a teenage girl was visited by an angel, got pregnant and stayed a virgin seems impossible. The fact that the guy would stay with her through it all and not sleep with her until after the birth is incredible…almost unbelievable! In the 9th month she travels by donkey. The bouncing probably causes her water to break. They are frantic to find a spot to spend the night. There are no rooms. However, there is a barn. There is a trough. There is hay. In the middle of this scene, a baby is born. Not just any baby. The Son of God whom Joseph would raise as his own. Let the story touch you again this year.
Don’t allow that which is familiar to lose its meaning. Choose to have joy. Choose to be a follower of Christ. Choose to bring warmth back into your life.