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Day 22: The Crowds


Day 22: The Crowds


Luke 2:1 

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.


The world was getting crowded. There were so many people that Caesar Augustus wanted to count them. Imagine the traffic on the roads with everyone trying to get where they needed to be for the census. Picture the lines that you would have had to stand in to get recorded for the census. Where would you get food? Where would you get clothes? Where would you go if you needed a doctor? When they show pictures of people sleeping in the airports during the holidays and the immense number of travelers crammed into terminals, I think of the world that Christ was born in. A world crowded with people. There were too many people in Bethlehem, too. And yet, into this crowded space and time, Jesus comes and is born, his birth bringing “great joy for all people.”

Relatives staying in our homes and parties that we’re expected to be at. Malls and shopping centers bustling with Christmas shoppers. Restaurants and grocery stores filled with people seeking food. Long lines. Extra wait times. Delayed deliveries.

During the Christmas season, our lives can get especially crowded. In addition to the seasonal things mentioned above, our lives are packed with the usual challenges of life. Things like painful relationships, discord in our families, and separation between family members. Fear from a loss of a job, loss of income, or trying to sell a house in this market. Overwhelming health issues. Again, I say, we live in a crowded world. 

And yet Advent is meant to be a season of intentional waiting. Of preparation. Of “tuning our hearts to sing His praise”. Of reflection. Of peace and joy.

How do we, during this Christmas season, capture the peace and joy that Christ came to bring? We won’t if we allow ourselves to be carried away in the stampede of holiday bustle. Christmas is three days away. Perhaps you have yet to prepare your heart. Perhaps you have yet to stop and consider the smaller stories woven throughout the Christmas story of people impacted by the birth of Christ. Perhaps you have yet to reflect on how your life has been impacted by His birth


Here are three things you can do today and over the next few days to capture the true joy of Christmas. 

  1. Remember that joy is found in God’s presence. In Psalm 16:11 it says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” If you lack joy, make a determined effort to spend time in God’s presence. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, consider His incredible kindness, celebrate how great and powerful God is, and you will experience His joy.
  2. Understand that joy is the result of righteousness. Psalm 97:11 says, “Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.” And in Ecclesiastes 2:26 we read, “God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him.” If you have unaddressed sin in your lives, it will diminish your joy. On the other hand, when we are walking with God with a clear conscience, joy increases. Do not make light of any transgression. Spend time confessing unconfessed sin. 
  3. Recognize that joy is found in delighting in God’s Word. Psalm 119:111 says, “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.” Some people wish they had a rich old aunt or uncle who would leave them a huge inheritance. Honestly, that kind of inheritance can bring temporary happiness at best, but the Bible is an inheritance from the Lord. It is better than gold, diamonds, or rubies, and it has been passed down to you. When we see the Bible as treasure we have inherited, invariably, that mindset will lead to joy. Spend time in God’s word. 



Equipping You to Make Disciples of Collegians & Young Adults

The Collegiate DiscipleMaker is an online publication providing practical encouragement and disciplemaking tools to those making disciples among college students and young adults. Our weekly articles are theologically rich, biblically grounded, pragmatically applicable, and college ministry oriented.

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We are people just like you— campus missionaries, ministry wives, young adult pastors, and more—who simply have a passion to make Gen Z disciples on college campuses and beyond.


Austin Pfrimmer (Campus Missionary)

Christina Boatright (Campus Missionary)

Paul Damery (Campus Missionary)

Reese Hammond (Campus Missionary)

Jon Smith (Campus Missionary)

Jerome Stockert (Campus Missionary) 

Karin Yarnell (College Ministry Wife)

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