I love to tell and retell the story of the birth of Jesus to the children in our Residential Treatment Center. Recently, we were reviewing the details of that Holy Night so long ago. The kids could tell me about how Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread,” and that the shepherds were the first to hear about Jesus’ birth. They could even describe the angels. We talked about the wise men that came later to visit Mary and little Jesus and the three gifts that are mentioned in Scripture- gold, frankincense, and myrrh. With that detail, one child exclaimed, “Oh man, we gave Him that LAST year!" Well, maybe we focused too much on the gift giving. So, we backed up and talked about the shepherds. Among the lowest on the social ladder. Nothing really special about them. Just normal working guys, watching after their sheep. Probably pretty dirty, sweaty and tired. Yet, God chose these normal guys to hear the first Noel. They were the first visitors to the holy family. Luke 2:16 records their excitement, “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby who was lying in the manger.” Did they leave their 99 sheep to see the Lamb of God? At any rate, they brought no gifts- only awe, wonder, and praise. If you are stressed out over the gift giving, parties, unrealistic expectations of this season, try to relax. If you are discouraged or grieving this Christmas, take hold of some hope. If you feel you are not worthy to peer into the manger, know that everyone is called to the Christ Child. God simply wants to share His Son with the world. No gifts required. Just you. Come to the manger with awe, wonder, and worship. What a joy it is to experience the Grace of God wrapped in swaddling clothes. So, what should our response be to receiving this unearned gift? Gratitude and a sharing of that gift to those who need to know the love of Christ through us! At The Baby Fold, we get to channel the gifts that you are inspired to give to make our work possible. If you have been blessed, would you consider making a year-end donation to The Baby Fold?